Saturday, May 02, 2009

Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning

Reuters reports farmers fear pigs might get “swine” flu from people. I must admit that headline made me laugh, but then upon reading further, I realized maybe I shouldn’t have. One Kansas hog farmer said he was banning visitors from his farm and anyone needing to be near the porkers had to submit to a sort of swine security clearance. A Purdue University veterinarian said, “Pigs get flu just like people get flu.” And an Iowa pork producer added, “It's a real issue. If the pigs get it, there isn’t much we can do. Water, aspirin, and bed rest, that’s all we’ve got.”

Last weekend when cable reporters were all over this story like hogs after slop (not that I think the media are swine), I dismissed the hubbub as more mass hysteria, whopped up by media with too much airtime on their hands. Could I have been wrong?

Here in the far reaches of Chicagoland, officials closed Batavia High School and a middle school on Thursday after suspected cases of H1N1 were discovered. The Batavia Park District canceled all programs and gatherings through Sunday for children, and suburban papers reported business at some Mexican restaurants was way off.

Over-hype or not, it’s too early to say. However, the economic consequences are real and there are sick folks out there. I’ve avoided the regular flu all season and just when I think the danger of that has passed, up pops the swine kind. As Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It just goes to show you, Jane . . . it’s always something. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.”


Naomi said...

Hi Sheila

Yes it's been all over the news here in England about swine flu too. We've got quite a number of reported cases over here too. Althought I think it's much more widespread over there, if the media reports are true. I agree there's always something. Last time it was bird flu! It's makes you afraid to step out of your front door!

Palm Springs Savant said...

It has been maddening. Here in Southern California, being so close to Mexico people are especially nervous too

Marion said...

I was inclined, like you, to believe it was only another fear mongering...but it is travelling quickly. BC has a number of cases.

But on the whole, I believe it is similar to any flu...some will get it worse than others. But pigs will get it from humans, poor things. Farms, as you say, are now very careful with farm workers, etc. to make sure there is no illness among them.