Swine Flu of 2009: Should You Vaccinate?

Swine Flu 2009 outbreak
Watch Out for the Swine Flu

The swine flu outbreak of 2009 has been well publicized through all major media outlets and government agency such as the World Health Organisation and the UK government.

So after doing some reading on swine flu today I came across an interesting swine flu article from Dr Mercola, Doctor of Osteopathy(DO), in the USA. He debates whether we should worry about the swine flu pandemic of 2009 and should we vaccinate with Tamiflu, the only medication for it, when it will only give us 36 hours of flu symptom relief. So will the swine flu pandemic of 2009 be the end for millions of people in the UK and around the world?

1976 Swine Flu Advert

Did you know this is not the first time we have had a swine flu outbreak. In 1976 on an army base in Fort Dix, USA swine flu was detected. Below is an advert that was used at the time to promote vaccination against swine flu of 1976. As you will see the guys from popsci.com have put some editing over the original advert.

Nothing came of that swine flu outbreak so all the vaccination was apparently a waste of time, money and gave certain people serious side effects like Gullian-Barre syndrome.

UK Government Advice on Swine Flu

Direct.gov.uk have a complete up to date advice section for UK residents on swine flu.

Basically like any other respiratory disease, which flu is, the best way to prevent swine flu is to follow good hygiene by not spreading your saliva and mucous around. The recent TV advert by the NHS shows just that point. Do the basic as you should with any flu.

How to Know if You Have Swine Flu?

If you are worried you have the swine flu of 2009 because you have some of the following flu-like symptoms:

  • Fever of more than 38°C /100°F
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose and/or sore throat
  • Joint aches
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite

Then you can call the following telephone numbers:

  1. England – NHS Direct on 0845 4647
  2. Scotland – NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24
  3. Wales – NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647
  4. Northern Ireland0800 0514 142

Map of Swine Flu WorldWide

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

Should You Vaccinate Against Swine Flu?

As mentioned earlier Dr Mercola, DO, has written a lengthy article on why he feels you should not vaccinate swine flu.

He feels it is a major money creating event for the large pharmaceutical companies behind the creation and selling the anti-viral medication, Tamiflu.

Tamiflu is being heavily stockpiled by the UK and US governments. So his argument is for so little deaths compared to something like malaria which kills 3000 people per day should we freak out and run out to get Tamiflu which gives you only 36 hours or 1-1.5 days relief of the swine flu symptoms.

Dr Mercola does go on to give advice on natural things to do to help boost your immune system.

These are all basic things that you would do even without trying to prevent swine flu and are general good health tips for your immune system. They include:

  • Avoiding excess sugars in your diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Control your stress levels
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take more Omega-3 essential fatty oil
  • Consume garlic or take garlic supplements

The Swine Flu Debate

Swine flu like any flu is a virus. This means there is no medication to kill it when you are infected. All that can be done is treat the flu-like symptoms to give you relief while your body tries to kill the virus itself. So what the swine flu pandemic of 2009 has done is re-ignite the debate on who to treat flu viruses and should we have flu vaccinations. Flu does kill every year around the world particularly the already sick immune weak like children and the elderly. However, is this 2009 swine flu going to be a mass killer like the Spanish Influenza of 1918

In the words of the famous businessman Warren Buffet “the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the wind-shield”. So in other words like the 2005 bird flu/avian flu outbreak we may only know when it is over.

Further Reading:

  1. The Swine Flu Pandemic – fact or fiction? by Dr Mercola
  2. World Health Organisation Swine Flu Pandemic Update