Swine Flu Survival — Surviving the Pandemic
How concerned should you be about swine flu?
If you are in Australia, since there are no cases (yet) reported in Australia, I would recommend paying attention to what is going on in the world, without getting too concerned at this stage about swine flu survival.
If you are in another country that is not yet affected by swine flu, this would also be my advice.
If you are in an affected country (where there are reported cases of swine flu), it would be a good idea to become more prepared.
This appears to be one of the types of threats that the media likes to report on. Therefore anything you read or hear about swine flu in the media should be filtered through your knowledge of this fact. (That is, it may not be quite as serious a threat as some of the more sensationalised news coverage may indicate).
Reports of deaths from swine flu of up to 120 people (almost all in Mexico) were downgraded to 7 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who claim to have the most accurate information on the outbreak. More recently (1 May 2009) this number has increased to 12. Vivienne Allan from the WHO said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in Britain and three in New Zealand. No cases have been reported in Australia (although New Zealand is getting pretty close).
There are a great many other threats and issues that exist that are not being reported in the media to the same extent as swine flu. For example approximately 50,000 people die every day from starvation, and about 500,000 people die every year from tuberculosis in Africa alone. According to some estimates up to 1/3 of the entire world is infected with the TB baccilum (though only a fraction of these become actively sick with TB).
The above comments are not meant to discount swine flu as a threat — only to point out that unnecessary panic is most likely exactly that — unnecessary. It would be a good idea to keep watch on what is happening, and perhaps to take some reasonable precautions, or at least to be familiar with what kinds of precautions to take should the spread of swine flu increase dramatically.
How To Prepare for Swine Flu
There is a great amount of information available on the internet about preparation and prevention for pandemic swine flu.
From the Australian Government, information can be found here at (these are external links):
Preparing for Pandemic Influenza
Swine Influenza Outbreaks at healthemergency.gov.au
National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic (includes 60 page downloadable PDF document)
The government's plan perhaps stresses a more extreme approach than would be warranted at the moment. It mentions stocking your pantry with food, and keeping enough bottled water for a fortnight. However, it would be good to know that this information is available should the need for it develop.
Some of the precautions mentioned in the official guide include keeping a store of dried and long-life food such as canned meals, and also important items such as toilet paper, batteries, candles, matches, manual can openers and water sterilising tablets. It recommends that analgesics, masks, gloves, a thermometer, disinfectant and prescription medications should also be stockpiled and people should have enough supplies to stay in their homes for 14 days.
For many of these items, it would be good to have your own supply of them in any case (irrespective of swine flu). Anyone who is interested in survivalism would most likely already have many or all of these things stocked up.
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