Swine Flu (Influenza) and the Best Tip for Surviving Its Spread
Spending as much time surviving outdoors as I do, you learn pretty quickly how to combat a list of natural ailments. Cryptosporidium (Crypto), Giardiasis (Giardia), West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease are just a few of the “critters” one has to deal with in the wild.
Swine Flu is making the rounds of late via human transmission and the media. As a strain of Influenza, it is something to deal with but not panic over. Could it be the beginning of a pandemic? Perhaps. Remember, the word “Pandemic” simply means wide spread or even worldwide and does not directly indicate the strength of the Flu in question. Either way, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from contracting the Flu. The CDC is a great resource to check out.
The most tried and true (your Mom and Grandma were spot on) defensive tactic against any Flu (except heading off to live in a cave) is to WASH YOUR HANDS. I know it’s not as flashy as the light blue face masks, but throwing your hands under some hot, soapy water is the real deal. Why?
When a person contaminated with with Flu coughs, sneezes, or touches something, the Flu becomes mobile and can live for up to a couple of days on that surface depending on the type of Flu and the surface structure. You come along, unknowingly, touch that surface and then touch your eyes, nose, lips and you pick up the nasty little hitchhiker. Pretty simple. In that you can not see a contaminated surface, all you can do is take out the “middle man” if you will…dirty hands. In urban areas, the need is even greater. Proper hygiene can prevent these little hijackers from commandeering your immune system.
Now, it may not always be convenient to find soap and hot water so I use a couple of products in the field or on the go until I can get back for a good scrubbing. The Fresh Bath Body Wipes and the Adventure Hand Sanitizer are the perfect one-two punch. These compact, lightweight “personal cleaners” fit in my pack, glove box and computer bag.
Good news for us RVers, the same precautions we use dumping our black/grey tanks will work great for combating Swine Flu.
In the meantime, save the masks for Halloween.
UPDATE: For updated information on the Swine Flu, please visit: Swine Flu H1N1, Face Masks and Duct Tape