Friday, December 21, 2007

Why Does Flu Spread in Winter

New York researchers tell us that winter months foster the spread of flu virus because of the construct of the virus itself. The virus is more stable and remains airborne longer when the air is cold and dry. This describes our winter conditions exactly, and explains why these months see an increase in influenza type illness.

Influenza is more likely to be transmitted during winter on the way to work and school than it is in a warm room says the chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Peter Palese.

This reinforces the reminders of infection prevention: wash your hands frequently, cough and sneeze into your sleeve (rather than into your hand), dispose of used tissues immediately, and if possible, avoid face-to-face contact with people suffering from influenza.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Washing Your Hands Of It

The United Nations recently reported that finding bird flu in German waterfowl is a sign the disease is being transmitted by seemingly healthy ducks and geese.

If birds do not show symptoms of the disease it is almost impossible to isolate or eradicate it. Because of this, they warn, Europe should prepare for more outbreaks. The source of bird flu in Britain remains unknown. It has now spread to 60 countries.

The BBC News informs us the UK is doubling its stockpile of antiviral medicines, but researchers believe simple low-cost physical measures could potentially provide an important defence against a pandemic.

"Wash your hands, and if it is a really bad epidemic, avoid contact with people and keep your distance... Soap and water is cheap and it could save your life or your baby's life."