Jordan recorded its first fatality in a 26-year old. The US is recording an unusually higher rates of death among influenza patients, higher than the annual average for this time of year. However, a fact remains that the vast majority of people infected with the virus will do just fine without any medical intervention.
Pandemics like this one are concerning, not only because they kill people but also because the virus behind them is new. We don't know much about it. Nobody knows whether or not the virus will gain more strength over the next 2 months or will get weaker and stop killing people. We don't know if the vaccine will be 100% protective for everyone who receives it. We don't know if children to pregnant women afflicted with the infection will suffer any long term lung damage. However, we know enough about the virus to try to tell that some people, as expected, are freaking out for wrong reasons.
Is the H1N1 Vaccine Safe?
Yes. For as much as we know, the vaccine is very safe. It would have been better if we were able to study it for a few years before it gets released, but there isn't anything there to suggest that it will cause any damage to body organ. The risk of not vaccinating can be very high.
People with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy or other causes should not receive the nasal form. They can get the injection.
Does the Influenza Vaccine cause influenza?
No, it doesn't. If someone got the vaccine and 3 days later got the flu, it's a coincidence. If you saw a new Pepsi commercial and 3 days later you got the flu, don't blame Pepsi for it. It's the flu season, people get the flu.
Who Will suffer the most from the H1N1 Influenza?
A lot of people who died had other medical illnesses like cancer or severe lung disease. Pregnant ladies are definitely at a much higher risk of acquiring a severe infection. But a third group seems to be at risk: young healthy people in their 20s. Their immune system produces a very vigorous response to the infection that can damage their lungs and even kill them.
Patients might suffer a little bit from the virus itself but as they recover a bacterial pneumonia follows and that can rapidly fatal. A lot of the victims of the 1918 pandemic died that way.
I really really don't want to get the flu, what should I do?
1- Wash your hands continuously. You rub your nose everyday more than you can imagine. The influenza virus can live on your hand for hours.
2- Avoid people who have influenza. They are contagious for up to one weak after the onset of symtpoms.
If someone in the room is sneezing or coughing, leave the room. I just did so. A selfish girl in the cafe was sneezing and rubbing her red nose so I just gave her Ja7ra Karakiyyeh and left the cafe to sit outside. BE SHAMELESS, and if you have the flu yourself, stay inside your f-ing home until you stop sneezing or wear a mask if you really had to leave the house.
3- If someone in your family gets the flu, isolate him/her as much as possible. Don't share the same room, towels or utensils. If someone else in the family has a weakened immune system (from cancer, medications...etc) consider letting them take Tamiflu one tablet daily for 10 days to prevent getting the infection. If a pregnant lady is exposed to someone with influenza for a long duration she has to take Tamiflu. It's nine times more likely that she will suffer a severe disease than non-pregnant women.
And, take the vaccine, both the influenza and the H1N1 vaccine. They're approved for those 6 months to 65 years of age.