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April 30th, 2009
03:58 PM ET

Understanding Swine Flu: Questions and Answers

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Swine Flu Frenzy"]

The emergence of the swine flu has raised many questions.  Are your kids safe at school?  Are you safe at the office?  What can be done to raise awareness among kids?  How can we keep this from spreading?

What questions do you have and what, if anything,  is your community doing to keep the flu at bay.

Post your questions or concerns and join Fredricka Whitfield this Saturday at 4 P.M. for the answers.  Your comments may make it on air!

Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Chris M

    Why would we not be told of possible terrorist attacks here in the U.S. but start a panic over the flu. I understand many people in Mexico have died but this no Plague!

    April 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  2. K Morrison

    It seems to me that three of the most important aspects of the 'swine' flu story are under reported. As I see them, these are [1] pointers for reducing our risk of exposure, [2] symptoms that may alert us to the possibility that an illness could be this particular virus, and [3] the fact that when schools are closed, our children should avoid contact with other children/friends or exposure to public places for their own safety. I think every CNN viewer could benefit from more coverage of these points.

    President O'Bama has reminded us to wash hands frequently, cover our mouth and nose with a cloth when we sneeze, and stay home when we are ill. Secretary Napolitano has mentioned children should stay at home when their school is closed, even if they are not ill. Several interviews have alluded to the fact that this virus produces fever in addition to common symptoms of any cold or flu, so it would seem we should watch our temperature carefully as an indicator of whether we should seek medical care instead of fretting every time we feel unwell.

    April 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  3. Linda

    How ironic, Bidan gets bashed for saying he wouldn't advise travel in tight spaces, like planes, train, and subways. Yet schools are closing, we are told not to touch handles, use good hand washing, stay away from crowds, etc. I say "you go Bidan!"

    May 1, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  4. Lori M

    Was there any reported confirmed or suspected cases of any infant/toddlers having swine flu? If so how was thier recovery? Also, once you have swine flu once...can you get it again?

    May 1, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  5. James , Bolenz International

    I am a representative of Bolenz International L.L.C., New York, New York we have patent rights and are manufacturing a hand worn micro fiber cleaning glove in the United States named "Microgluvs" they have been proven through both laboratory testings and through work at different health care centers to thoroughly remove and destroy bacterial and viral infections from surfaces and equipment.
    They would be quite useful and helpful in the after clean up in clinics and hospitals to sanitize and disinfect afterwards.
    They are reusable and are "green friendly"

    May 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  6. JayCee

    I thought you guys should know about the breaking news in Louisiana regarding the Swine Flu. Gov. Jindal is having a press conference at 5pm... Please read the following information:

    State officials announced this morning that there are now 20 suspected cases of the swine flu virus in seven parishes in Louisiana.

    “These are only possible cases, meaning they could not be identified by the Office of Public Health Laboratory in New Orleans and have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta, Ga. for confirmation,” according to a news release sent by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.

    It will take two to four days for the CDC to finish testing the samples.

    The first eight samples were shipped to the CDC on Thursday, and results could be available as soon as today.

    Gov. Bobby Jindal will be holding a news conference at 5 p.m. today.

    Samples of the 11 new suspected cases tested positive for type A influenza, which indicates either seasonal or swine flu, the news release states. Swine flu is one of several subtypes of influenza A.

    The swine flu virus subtype can only be confirmed by CDC lab tests, the release states.

    Of the 20 suspected cases, 13 are from Lafayette Parish and two are from Orleans Parish. Acadia, Ascension, Beauregard, St. Martin and St. Tammany parishes each have one case, according to the release.
    While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the state, the Public Health Office is testing about 550 samples at its New Orleans office.

    May 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  7. Joy Harris

    My question is whether those people who are getting the swine flu now will later have immunity against it if later their is a more serious strian of swine flu that starts in the fall. Also, is it possible to develop a vacine from the people who have had mild cases by using their antibiodies

    May 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  8. Chad Harris

    I don't know if this can be picked up for your 5/2/09 panel with Fredrica, but maybe it can, and one of your docs will take a swing. I realize we'll have a much better grip on the H1N1 in the US and other countries in the next 3 weeks.

    If someone has been recently vaccinated against smallpox in a recent trial for that vaccine 3 years ago (monitored by internists at then Crawford Long Hospital's office building now EU Midtown), could that recent vaccination confer immunity for the H1N1 type A? The CDC physican on their physician phone line didn't have a clue.

    I'm asking because Smallpox is a Type A influenza. I don't know what the dilution was. It's my understanding from the CDC website that small pox vaccination confers immunity for 3-5 years.

    Is there any specific medical literature on the likelihood of childhood vaccines for smallpox conferring immunity or immunity possibilities in people over age 50?

    Why hasn't the US gone to more modern methods of vaccine manufacture than the over 50 year old fertilized embryonated chicken egg method? Why aren't more modern methods like cell culture or reverse genetics used given the wakeup call of H5N1 a few years ago?

    Influenza labs do this everyday and have for years? Why hasn't it been extrapolated to a ramp up process to manufacture vaccines in the numbers we need considering we have about 304 million in the US?

    Isn't that the antithesis of "flu pandemic preparedness"?


    May 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  9. judith h hammock

    People just checked out of my rental condo,complaining of flu. They are from New Orleans . How do I clean- what should I do? She is a schoolteacher,and said students were sick before she left.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm |