Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Social Media and Swine Flu

-Swine Flu: Time will tell on this comment, but c'mon. I am a relatively recent adopter/user of social media sites. (Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Blogspot etc.) I think the more information the better. However, we need to exercise some restraint. #Swineflu has been one of the top trending topics on Twitter for several days now. I understand the concern, and don't want to minimize any loss of life. But visit websites like the Centers for Disease control to get the facts. The site talks about treatment, and has great general information. Also check out the World Health Organization's site. Bottom line: some people are much more at risk for serious complications (the elderly, the very young), you prevent contracting this strain of flu as you would any other, you treat it as any other, and there are precautions to take if symptoms get worse.

The downside to social media, the spread of rumors, mistated facts, the possibility of panic etc. I think we are seeing it right now. As I see it the swine flu is serious, but exercise restraint, and don't panic. It's making great copy right now for news organizations, credible or not, but it should run it's course-and by the way, here is the latest information as of the writing of this blog:

Swine influenza - update 5

29 April 2009 -- The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009, nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).
Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.
WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.
There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Related links

Swine influenza web site
Daily updates will be posted on this site.

Signing off for now....Jiresell

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