Mapping the flu

The Swine Flu outbrake is getting the world in flames. It as been a consequence of previous cataclysm scenarios which, apart from the real threat, are always a bit overrated when compared with other contagious diseases who are taking lives every minute and are not on the spotlight. This doesn't mean we shouldn't be aware and follow the indications of local healt institutions and take extra care.
But this post comes from the opportunity that we have on following it now in another way using Google Maps. Logging into the world almost in real time we can walk behind the news on the flu, just by clicking on the map above or through this link. But refrain by being too scared.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like that of seasonal flu. Common symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, while runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days.
Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, a surprisingly effective way to prevent all sorts of diseases, including ordinary influenza and the new swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows little particles of virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.


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