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24 replies
My parents want me to drop my eurotrip because of swine flu!
nellislica
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My trip starts in 1 and a half weeks, and the places I’m going to are London – Paris – Barcelona – Nimes – Madrid and maybe more. What’s more, I already bought a package for a small tour and tickets for a few football matches!

The problem is that these countries all have suspected cases of swine flu, and almost all the deaths from swine flu are of the 20 to 40 year old range, which I definitely fall into. My parents are being way too overprotective and they think that I’m going to get it when I travel. I have already paid more than 2k for travel and tour expenses, and unless I can get my money back, NO WAY AM I THROWING THE MONEY AWAY!!!

How do I persuade my parents that it’s safe? Or should I just listen to their advise? My parents are woefully obstinate people, so it’ll be tough to persuade them…

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Just remember, it is easily treated. And the liklihood that you would get it is quite slim unless you have been in direct contact with an infected swine(unlikely) or an infected person (also unlikely). So There shouldn’t be a reason to not go. It is a lot less severe to the Avian Bird Flu that was about, and it shouldnt deter your travel plans. Also, it is apparently easily treatable.

Lastly, the best way to prevent yourself from getting it is to wash your hands all the time and to cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze. Basic.

So, just jump on the plane and have a blast!

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Gan_Do
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Wrong, it has been reported to be more transmissible than the avian flu. The term “swine flu” was wrongly coined. It genetics of avian, swine and human flu combined. Please check before making assumptions. And, better at least buy a mask. I won’t recommend you to cancel the trip though. And I do not think it is only specific to age groups 20-40 coz that is the only age group where people are most active and meets lots of people and hence can catch infection from one another the easiest.

NOTE: IT HAS IS NOT A FLU LIMITED OR RELATED TO SWINE ALONE.

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Don
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Go get a tetanus jab and tell your folks you got the vaccine (don’t specify which one!).

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One option is to talk to your doctor and see if he/she thinks that taking a prophylactic dose of Tamiflu makes sense.

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First look up www.cdc.gov they have all the updated information and all the facts for your parents to read. Speak with your doctor for a second opinion. You may also want to call a travel insurance company and see if you do catch the swine flu if it is covered in their plan. Try the big companies like Access America and Travel Guard. Call on their 800 numbers to get the facts.

augustin25
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And by the way, I only suggested the antiviral thing as a way to make your parents feel ok. Notice that the number of deaths from this so far represent a small percentage of cases, that it seems to be easily treatable, and that Europe has excellent health care. I even got treated for free when I had to visit the ER in Spain – they just marked that I was a transient on the form and sent me on my way.

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Great, so your parents warn you not to go to Europe because of swine flu. Until today, I felt safe in Europe. From the posts above, it seems we are all going to die here in Europe, so it’s a rather unsound idea taking a trip here. (End of irony.)

As swine flu spreads through airborne droplet infection, it is much more dangerous than avian flu. That is true. But so far, only 100 people died from swine flu EVERWORLDWIDE. That same number of people die EVERY DAY from car accidents JUST IN EUROPE. The same number of people die EVERY THREE DAYS from gunshots JUST IN THE USA.

In case you die during your Eurotrip, you have a much higher chance to exspire on a pedestrian crossing in France or from a lost bullet on your way to the American airport, than you have a chance of acquiring and losing to the swine flu.

With best regards,
Dr. Peter Papp, M.D.
Dept. of Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology
District Hospital in Kladno, Czech republic

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

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You’re more lilely to get swine Flu in the U.S. than anywhere else given that the centre outbreak centre is in Mexico.

Also unless you’re chronically ill, a baby or elderly, the effects of the swine flu are the same as the regular flu. Tell you parents to chill out and stop being so over protective

Finnegan, B.S.
Amateur Gyneocologist

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

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augustin25 wrote:
One option is to talk to your doctor and see if he/she thinks that taking a prophylactic dose of Tamiflu makes sense.

It is not recommended as a prophylactic agent. Tamiflu is intended for treatment of certain proven viral infections. If everyone with a runny nose or, even worse, completely healthy, starts taking Tamiflu as a prophylaxis, then the flu virus will most probably become resistant to Tamiflu, rendering it inefficient in patients with REAL illness when the REAL pandemic comes in.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

augustin25
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Papyr, I agree with what you said about the haphazard prescribing of antiviral and antibiotic drugs, but was thinking from a “make nellislica’s parents feel better about it so he/she gets to Europe” perspective Wink

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Tell you’re parents you’ll eat more bacon and hotdogs to develop an immunity to swine flu

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

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I do not think swine flu acts in totally the same way as other flu. And eating bacon and hotdogs to build immune system? Don’t trick the kid dude. That’s not being helpful dude. Enough rest and balanced diet will no doubt have a little contribution to help you fight the flu when it comes. And by healthy diet, i mean more green vegtables and not the all meaty diet. I just did a final year graduate project and it was found taking too much meat will weaken the body’s immune system.

And as for taking the medication unecessarily, I totally agree you MUST not take any when you are not sick. It would be selfish to consume the medication when you are not sick because in the end you will only contribute to make the virus stronger.

Take the advice dude, I juz graduated from bioengineering and these are the basics that every biological student will know.

Despite the current state, you should still go for the trip I guess. Just make sure you take enough protection and cleanliness measures.

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Nellisica,

If you’re coming from the US or Canada, tell your parents that the United States is the second-most affected country after Mexico, and Canada is the 3rd-most affected, making North America the most affected region of the world. The numbers of confirmed cases in Europe are far fewer than in North America, mostly people who have just returned from a visit to Mexico or the US, and they are now recovering thanks to prompt treatment with antiviral drugs.

Interstingly enough, I was just listening on NPR about swine flu hysteria in Egypt, where people are calling for all of the country’s pigs to be slaughtered. (Yes, it’s a predominantly Muslim country, but pigs and pork can be found because of the country’s fairly large Christian minority). …even though the pigs in Egypt are healthy and Mexico is thousands of miles away. Needless panic.


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I’d just remind them that 36,000 people die of the REGULAR OLD NORMAL FLU THAT EVERYONE GETS in America every year. Compared to the…how many “cases” of swine flu are there so far in the WORLD right now? 150 or something like that? With a hand full of people dead?

Yeah… if they make you call off your trip, they’re insane.

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Prevention is better than cure. That’s all I can say. Those who claim that we are over-reacting, I would recommend more responsibility on their part. Moreover, there’s a fallancy to treat “regular flu” as one type of flu which is not. I is a collective of more than one .

Common flu is not just a single type of flu but consists of thousands of types of flu viruses. Dividing that to the 36,000 deaths means the number of deaths due to each type of flu is much smaller and hence potentially much lesser than the death rate of the current swine flu.

Thus, the swine flu still has its dangers. WHO did not call for the alert for nothing. It is still something that needs to be respected instead of being scoffed at by self-proclaiming blind confidence and assumptions.

Given that, bottom line is, go for your trip but be more careful. That’s the best bet Wink Cheers!

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Quote:
Common flu is not just a single type of flu but consists of thousands of types of flu viruses. Dividing that to the 36,000 deaths means the number of deaths due to each type of flu is much smaller and hence potentially much lesser than the death rate of the current swine flu.

I am sorry you have lost me here, the 36,000 deaths quoted by Feicht are for the US only, As far as I am aware there has been no deaths of any US citizens so far due to the “swine flu”, the only person to die on US soil so far is sadly a Mexican child to have crossed over the border after developing the virus. So if you compare like for like, it is much milder than several other types of flu. If you are talking about worldwide estimates are sketchy due to poor infrastructure in some nation’s but they do estimate up to 500,000 people die of various flu strains every year.

Quote:
Thus, the swine flu still has its dangers. WHO did not call for the alert for nothing. It is still something that needs to be respected instead of being scoffed at by self-proclaiming blind confidence and assumptions.

The thing that is being misinterpreted by member’s of the media to suit themselves is that the higher the alert status of a “pandemic” does not mean it is more severe, it just means it is more widespread. So there is technically pandemics of Flu every year.

The best thing people can do at home as well as travelling to prevent the spread of any virus is the simple thing’s like washing hands. And to answer the original question Europe is still very safe and the health care in Europe if you did get struck down with the “plague” is some of the best in the world.

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Well given the current confirmed cases at this point of my post (632 worldwide) and the estimated population of the world (6,706,993,152 as of July 2008). On the basis that there are around another 400 cases not yet determined or confirmed we will round our number to 1000. Now divide it up and.000000149% of the world has cases of swine flu. Double that percentage for transmission purposes and you have your answer. That is your chance of coming into contact with swine flu. (Given errors in just being unlucky enough to touch the one spot a person infected already has and catching the virus, and for working with swine.) I’m going to restate what most people in this forum are saying; you don’t have too much to worry about. The media are just waiting for the next disaster to improve ratings and this is catching interests.

If still worried, the fact that there are millions of the antiviral stock-piles strictly for swine flu and they are distributed to almost every hospital worldwide, should comfort you. Unless you are under 16 or over 50 you will be just fine. In between may transmit more, but the immunity system is much more developed, stronger, and quicker to defend so to speak. So enjoy your trip, no need to miss out.

CHEERS

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So lets sum it up:
the swine flu is extremely rare
the swine flu originated in Mexico
all deaths occured in Mexican citizens
the infection has spread to other countries, but no dead there so far
people who lost their lives to the swine flu usually lived in poor socio-economic conditions
the proposed trip is an American inhabitant traveling to Europe
the quality of health care in Europe is one of the highest in the world
the proper medication and treatment is the most readily available in Europe and in the USA
the vast majority of Americans and Europeans live in good socio-economic conditions.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

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Yup, I guess that sums it all. Europe is still relatively safe I guess. Anyway, I just heard of the first case of american adult death by H1N1 flu who had not been to mexico. Can anyone confirm this and determine her socio-economic status? Currently over here, we are stepping down the alert level. Guess will the american side lower the alert level soon?
Let’s just be more aware of the dangers of the flu and take note to protect ourselves should the pandamic comes. Of course, don’t get easily influenced by the media but just keep ourselves well informed.

Anyway, to clarify, common flu is a collective term for several different types of flu. Meaning, there are several different types of viruses that can cause flu and these viruses are considered to be common and occur frequently and thus comes under the same group name of “common flu”. Some may recover and some, especially the weaker and elderly ones may die from it. What I am trying to compare above is the number of deaths per type of flu virus. As common flu consists of several types of viruses, deaths due to per type of flu virus ratio could have been lower than the H1N1. H1N1 is a single type of virus compare to the term “common flu” which consists of several types of flu virus.

I hope this clears the air.

Alright, by the time the summer trips in Europe begins, I guess the H1N1 flu would have died by then. Cheers~!

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It was originally suspected that around 150 people in Mexico died from the swine flu, but now it’s been confirmed that only 19 of those 150 suspected dead had the swine flu, and all 19 of those deaths were in the Mexico City area. Which can only mean one thing: there’s some additional factor in Mexico City that either exacerbates the swine flu in a small number of people, or is even the primary cause of death.

What is it about Mexico City that makes it stand out from other major cities around the world? It’s not socioeconomics. It’s very simple: Mexico City sits at a very high altitude. Combine this with air pollution, and you have lots of people going to the hospital with respiratory problems every year. This is nothing new. The city’s high altitude was an issue when it hosted the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Experts are now saying that this new strain of flu has been around for at least 8 months, and that there’s probably lots of people who unknowingly caught it and got over it. For 20 people to possibly die from the swine flu, in a metropolis of over 20 million people, the swine flu is not any different from the regular flu.

While the swine flu has spread easily, it is no where nearly as lethal as originally feared. Only about 20 people who had it died, and most likely from additional factors, and the only dead person who was not from the Mexico City area, an American woman, already had a host of other health problems when she caught the swine flu.

So everybody let’s take a deep breath and exhale. Like the Avian flu and SARS, this has turned out to be a pretty harmless virus, and everyone will have forgotten about it on a couple months’ time.


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Tell them that the media freaked out about H1N1 and that they should be more concerned about you acquiring a venereal disease. Honestly, if you get an H1N1 infection while traveling in Europe, I will be utterly impressed.

Safe/fun travels!

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I hope the original poster’s parents are no longer on this track. But if they are, I think it’s quite reasonable to point out that Europe looks like a safer place to be than most US states, in respect to swine flu.

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Please stay in the USA for now, and try not to bring any more “Swine Flu” to Europe.

The first cases of this infection were in the USA in 2005, and the USA and Mexico are the epicentres. There are vastly more cases of this disease in North America, and indeed the virus should really be called “North American Flu” (the same as “Spanish flu”, “Hong Kong flu” and “Asian flu”) rather than swine flu (a poor name as this variant of the H1N1 virus contains pig, bird and human genetic elements).

We in Europe are more at risk from you than you are from us. I doubt if this is the basis of your parents rationale, but perhaps you could bear this in mind.

Thank you.

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Actually, swine flu can be traced back to the USA as early as 1976, but the etiology of this virus remains less clear. There is speculation it is a descendant of the 1918 pandemic strain, in which case its origins could’ve very well been outside of the United States.

Even if the U.S. and Mexico were to put a moratorium of traveling abroad, it would not change the fact that Europe has already reported thousands of cases of swine flu. In essence, it has already been “brought” over there (or it could’ve started over there, since patient zero in this outbreak has not been identified). The only risk Europe has is losing tens of billions in tourism revenue because of rash decisions that are not based on scientific evidence.

And remember that swine flu is not the only disease that is spread intercontinentally. Some are far more deadly than the current ~0.4% worldwide mortality rate of swine flu (180 deaths, 44,000 cases). Should we prevent travel to stop these diseases as well?

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