Swine flu scare

This news is rather hot here in the Philippines today and the rest of the world. I did not make quite a research but these got through to my mailbox.

Swine flu not linked with today’s pigs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) — A Purdue University veterinarian says flu viruses are named for the first animal in which they are found; the current swine flu was discovered in pigs in 1930.

That discovery is the only reason the current outbreak is called swine flu, said Purdue swine medicine expert Sandy Amass. “We don’t even know if the virus found in humans will infect pigs.”

No U.S. pigs have been found with swine flu (H1N1) in the current outbreak — only humans — but Amass says pork producers should take precautionary measures to protect their herds from being infected with any flu virus:

— Do not permit people, including employees that have the flu or flu-like symptoms, in or around barns.

— Do not allow any visitors to the farm, especially international visitors who have had contact with other livestock.

— If pigs show flu symptoms — coughing, runny nose, fever and a reduction in feed intake — call a veterinarian and have them tested.

“It’s important to make sure your biosecurity procedures are being followed,” Amass said. “If you have any concern, work with your vet because they know your operation best.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Pork safe to eat despite swine flu concern

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) — A U.S. nutrition specialist says shoppers should not refrain from buying pork products because of the current swine flu outbreak.

Purdue University extension specialist Melissa Maulding says the flu virus is not a food-borne pathogen, and there is no risk to the food supply.

“The flu is a virus that is transmitted through interaction with people,” she said. “The biggest defense against catching the flu is to wash your hands.”

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have indicated influenza is not passed through food.

Assistant Professor Paul Ebner said that while the current strain infecting humans is an H1N1 virus that is normally associated with pigs, it is not a classic swine virus.

“It has changed, obviously in a dramatic way that has allowed it to more easily infect humans,” he said. “Previously there were a few occurrences of humans catching the flu from pigs, but this strain is different.”

Chris Hurt, a Purdue extension economist, said the economic impact of swine flu on agriculture will depend on how the flu spreads through the human population and how the world responds.

“We’ll be watching to see whether other countries restrict pork imports, if the worlds’ consumers reduce pork consumption and if the disease is significant enough to further jeopardize already fragile world economic growth,” said Hurt.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

I wonder when I first heard of this news. But the thing is, I’ve seen a report saying that the stocks of the drug that counters this disease is already on the low while other supplies are almost reaching their expiration date. That is, here in the Philippines.

FDA orders more warnings for OTC drugs

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will require manufacturers of over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers to include safety warnings.

The FDA said OTC analgesics and fever reducers will have to include warnings about potential safety risks such as internal bleeding and liver damage, associated with the use of such popular drugs.

Products covered by the FDA action include acetaminophen and a class of drugs known as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Such NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen. Acetaminophen is in a class by itself.

“Acetaminophen and NSAIDs are commonly used drugs for both children and adults because they are effective in reducing fevers and relieving minor aches and pain, such as headaches and muscle aches, ” said Dr. Charles Ganley, director of the FDA’s Office of Non-prescription Drugs. “However, the risks associated with their use need to be clearly identified on the label so that consumers taking these drugs are fully aware of the potential harm they can cause.”

Under the new FDA rule, manufacturers must list all active ingredients prominently on drug labels on both the packages and bottles. The labeling also must warn of the risks of stomach bleeding for NSAIDs and severe liver damage for acetaminophen.

The new rule is available at http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-09684_PI.pdf.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Some people are almost in panic because of the sudden outbreak of this disease – one reason for the decrease in the amount of stocks. However, authorities still warn against using this anti-swine flu drug whenever a patient gets aflu. They say that it might not be good for your body. If you drink this drug and you are not infected with swine flu, your body will try to make a resistance to this drug. This will work against the patient since that patient might get infected and the next time you get a dose of the drug, your body will reject it.

In the case of the stocks, the government has said that it’ll buy new stocks just in case we will really have a need for it. In the meantime, we just have to take all the necessary precautions. As it’s always has been, “prevention is better than cure.”


Science & Technology
For You
Thursday April 30, 2009



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