Is it hype? It seems reminiscent of the SARS bird flu, which had everyone fearing the backyard chicken to the barn swallow. Maybe all the manufacturers of " Tamiflu" are trying to unload all those stockpiled stores they produced for bird flu, you know move product and make a buck. Is it designed by the government to distract us from the current economic situation? Give us something greater to fear? Or could it be NAIS trying to put all the small farms out of business, figuring that if people fear meat and pork and sales are down the big agribusinesses will survive, or get a bail out, but the small farms with 4-6 pigs will go under.
Here's another interesting fact. Viruses can cross species between pigs, humans, and birds, BUT that means that " Swine Flu " could really just be "Human Flu" that a sick employee in a large hog confinement system in Mexico, gave to some poor immunosuppressed pig, which in turn infected the rest of the immunosuppressed pigs, which then infected the other employees who then went home and infected their families. Confinement factory farms are, and always have been the perfect vector for these viruses.I believe they are most definitely responsible for the outbreak in Mexico. Take the extreme overcrowding, vaccinating heavily with live viruses, misuse and overuse of antibiotics, sanitation problems, and then pollution of surrounding towns through ground water, manure lagoons, leaching into streams and rivers and it is a disaster always on the brink of happening. Anyway it may not even be swine in origin after all. I really haven't heard anything about mass destruction of herds of confinement pigs yet. But certainly that is a perfect breeding ground especially since these confinement farms have been known to feed rations in part derived of " poultry litter" form chicken CAFO's, which includes feces, feathers, dirty litter and maybe worse. Remember viruses can jump between humans, pigs, and chickens. We as consumers have got to take this into our own hands and be responsible for what we eat. It stands to reason, if we stop supporting this cheap food system, which ultimately isn't so cheap and could end up costing us our lives as a worst case scenerio, we will eventually start shutting them down. This would improve our health, the health of our food producing animals, the health of our wallets, the health of our local economies, the health of the environment. One person may not be able to change the world alone but obviously each and every one of us adds up to a greater whole.
Are we worried about swine flu? No! And we are in contact with pigs everyday. Our pigs are healthy and raised outdoors. We currently only have 4 adults and 10 little piggies anyway. They are raised outdoors. It's kind of hard to catch an airborne virus out in the open air and with wind blowing 25 miles per hour! Most important to remember however, is that you can't catch a virus from a pig or a pig farmer that they don't even have! All the more reason to buy local from sources you trust. People aren't getting " swine flu " from pork anyway. It is human to human contact at this point.
Common sense when a flu is going around, avoid overcrowded stuffy situations and for now its probably smart to avoid people who are sick with flu like symptoms. Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough, ( good manners )and wash your hands before you eat, and probably try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose if you have been around someone sick until you can wash your hands. I get mildly nervous about virulent strains because I have a 2 year old with type 1 diabetes and an infant, for them it could be trickier if they were to get something really nasty.
DON"T PANIC!!!!!!!!! Yet...........
Edited to add:
I also have heard from a very trusted source, JoAnn Grohman, of " Keeping A Family Cow" fame, that large doses of Vitamin C can be of assistance when dealing with the flu or flu like symptoms. 2-5 grams ( 2,000 - 5,000 mg)daily. Less, I would imagine for the very young. If you take more than you need your body will just eliminate it anyway via many quick trips to the bathroom. If you know what I mean.