Influenza A (H1N1)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already stated that Influenza A (H1N1) has already reached the pandemic level. In our household, the swine flu has already resulted in the postponement of the start of classes for both my children.

What is swine flu? Swine flu is caused by a virus and is spread from person to person. Its symptoms are like the ordinary flu - fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, runny nose, and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. So far (and I hope and pray that it stays that way), in the Philippines, confirmed cases have been mild although we all still need to take the necessary precautions as in other countries, several deaths due to swine flu have already been recorded.

Based on records, swine flu usually afflicts young people in the age range of 10 to 45 (wow, I'm still considered young!). So, if you have had a fever for three days, with flu-like symptoms, and/or with shortness of breath, please go have yourself checked immediately.

In Metro Manila, you can go to any of the following centers for swab testing:

Lung Center of the Philippines, Quezon Avenue: 924-6101 or 924-0707
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine: 809-7599
San Lazaro Hospital: 732-3776 to 78

How can you avoid the swine flu? Keep your body strong. Get enough sleep. Eat nutritious food. Exercise. Pray. Avoid touching your mouth and nose and clean and wash your hands often. Avoid crowded places. If you feel sick, do not go to school or to the office. You owe it to yourself to get enough rest and you owe it to your colleagues not to spread your disease.

So, please stay healthy everybody. More than keeping your body physically strong and healthy, you must also care for your mind and your spirit. Belated happy independence day or Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan Pilipinas! Lumaya na sana ang ating bansa - di lamang sa swine flu kundi sa lahat ng mga baboy sa lipunan na saksakan nang dumi at suwapang.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, June 14, 2009]

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