Facts and myths about H1N1
In order for us to protect ourselves from the H1N1 virus, we need to know the facts about it and that includes knowing what it is not. The following are a few facts and myths about H1N1:
You can Catch Swine Flu by eating Pork. It’s a myth. Eating pork won’t necessarily result in you getting the flu. H1N1 may have originated from pigs, however experts advised that it is safe to eat a well prepared and well handled pork.
A Facemask can prevent you from having the Flu. This isn’t very true at all. No studies proved that a facemask can and will protect you from the catching the flu. However, some experts believe that wearing a facemask may, to some extent, prevent the spread of the virus or increase your chances of not contracting the viral disease. This remains a myth.
You should stay home until the flu outbreak ceases. Staying home may actually help sick people in most ways. It’s a fact that getting far from the crowd may prevent you from catching the flu; however, there is no definite period or duration on how long this outbreak would last. Nobody is sure whether the outbreak would be resolved in a few months, in a year and so on, so things, opportunities, and life itself would literally pass you by while you’re busy huddling in the comfort of your home, where there isn’t any assurance at all that you wouldn’t catch it.
A lot of people could die just like the 1918 swine flu outbreak. A lot of people died, yes, but it doesn’t mean that there is no medicine that could combat the virus. We have the Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) and Relenza (Zanamivir), and the availability of other flu medicines that could cure it. In fact, others recover without any medication at all. In addition, it’s a fact that the 1918 swine flu outbreak killed around 50 million to 100 million people worldwide; however, studies proved that H1N1 is only one of the many other causes of it.
You should stockpile as many Tamiflu because you may need it later. This is not recommended because this would just result in shortage in supply that could result in expensive price and would literally rip out the pockets of those who truly need it.
A new strain of H1N1 from a combined Swine and Avian strains could emerge and that would be far more fatal than the present swine flu virus. Although anything is possible, this possibility of a new strain has never been supported by any existing studies. And so, this remains a myth.
The precedent swine flu outbreak, that is before the present one, happened in February 1976 in Fort Dix New Jersey. Four soldiers were infected and only one died. After that, a treatment plan was given to people. From October 1976 to December 1976 people were given swine flu vaccine. It was ended because the side effects of the drugs were worse than the swine flu itself.