It is becoming possible that the main difference between the A1Ni flu and the 1918 Pandemic flu is knowledge of how it spreads and how to fight it.
(The picture comes from CBS, our corporate parent. But ironically it is of my own personal pharmacist, Ira Katz of Little Five Points Pharmacy in Atlanta.)
This strain is not dying back with the summer. When school starts it will be a real danger. The headlines at Flu.Gov are scary. Social disruption may be widespread. Work may be difficult or impossible. Schools may be closed. Transportation may be disrupted.
Pandemic Home Care is offering advice on setting up a sick room, infection control guidelines, and the stockpiling of food and medicine.
Not only won't a stockpile of vaccine be available this fall, but this flu strain is shown to be hardest on children and young adults, the same populations hit by the 1918 pandemic.
So quality home care, aimed not just at caring for the sick but limiting transmission to others, is going to be key.
In Friday's conference call on the flu Argentina was a major topic, because it's winter there and those conditions will be here soon. The news there is not good. So the warnings were stark:
The speed of the pandemic, of course today is very different from 1918 or even 1968. We have seen this virus reach nearly every country in a matters of weeks and months rather than years. So I think the issue of how quickly it?s spreading is a relative term, we also know that we have a lot more tools at our disposable today than they had in 1918.
Now is the time to prepare for what is to come with this flu. Your ability to prepare for any eventuality could well be the difference between life and death.