Swine Flu Early Detection is the Key

Oct 30


Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss

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As swine flu sweeps our nation and rest of the world, public awareness fueled by media, leads to people seeking out early surveillance and intervention on their own, in an effort to head off serious illness.

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You can't blame them for wanting to protect themselves and their families,Swine Flu Early Detection is the Key Articles as over a million cases have been documented in the U.S. alone; so many that the CDC has quit counting. There are 2 medications on the market that have been shown to be effective against swine flu, Relenza and Tamiflu. These medicines have to be administered within 2 days of the onset of symptoms (which last about a week), and are said to shorten the duration of symptoms by about 2 days. Because early detection is vital for the efficacy of these drugs, rapid detection is necessary. Many manufacturers are currently working on versions of a rapid H1N1 test to allow early detection in minutes, as opposed to days as is with traditional virus testing.


The trouble is, the preliminary results of these types of these tests have been poor. It was determined that too many false negative results, as many as half, occurred on a regular basis. In other words, the test failed to detect known swine flu in laboratory conditions, meaning a negative test at the doctor's office wouldn't actually guarantee that you don't really have the swine flu. This is important because the patients at higher risk that really need the medication might not be treated due to false negative results.


The bottom line is, at this point we don't have a rapid swine flu test. Plus, the seasonal flu and swine flu symptoms are mostly indistinguishable and similar in duration. Those symptoms include fever, headache, coughing, sore throat, and muscle pains, and sometimes diarrhea or vomiting. If shortness of breath occurs, you may have swine flu. Still however, symptoms of both should only last about a week. Either way, if your going to go to the doctor to get him to write you a prescription for Tamiflu, go the first or second day you get symptoms, otherwise the medication won't be effective.


Keep in mind that the media fuels paranoia and irrational behavior, so use your best judgment before running to the ER or your doctor’s office. Remember during the first gulf war and after 911 when gas masks were flying off the shelves of U.S. Army surplus stores? People didn't even know what kind of nerve gas or chemical warfare they were trying to protect themselves from, they just felt better having something. For the flu, it may just be better to take some swine flu precautions and swine flu vaccine and stay in bed, and catch up on your favorite TV shows.