Not Another Swine Flu Bit…

By this point you have no doubt been saturated with news of the ‘swine flu.’ The rapid spread of this virus, coupled with its unique origins and a 24-hour news cycle have made this a very hot topic online, on the radio, and on television. While the major media outlets have certainly done their part to sensationalize this story, the reality is this is another variation of a virus that millions deal with each year.

In the last week we have seen the number of orders for masks rise exponentially for a variety of masks we sell, and unlike others we are NOT raising the price simply because demand has increased. We provide quality products to help those with asthma, allergies and other illnesses, not to take advantage of people need.

The swine flu, like the more common version of tge flu that visits us every year, is primarily spread through contact with an infected person. An uncovered sneeze or cough can expell the virus from an infected person and easily transmit it to those nearby. While masks do certainly help to keep the virus contained and often away from you, there are some other very basic measures that can be taken to help prevent you from becoming ill.

First, as mom always said, wash your hands. And like Chicago voters, do it early and often! There are really few better ways to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. Germs abound and viruses in particular are more resilient to conditions outside of the human body. They can live for extended periods of time on telephones, doorknobs, countertops, and other places that germs use as a crossroads in their travels around the world.

Secondly, avoid crowded areas when possible. For most of us, that is much more easily said than done. Workplaces and schools are where most illnesses often spread. A good rule, if you're sick, stay home. Sure, your boss might be a little disappointed, but he would be much more disappointed if half of his employees wound up missing work due to illness. If your child is sick or feeling sick, keep them home for the day. Besides, do you or your child really want to spend a day feeling miserable at work or in school?

Lastly, stay away from people who are sick. The hugs and handshakes can wait without hard feelings. And if you do happen to be sick or have the flu, cover you nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Nothing ruins a friendship faster than when an ill coworker sneezes on you.

Like many viral infections, this swine flu will burn itself out in time. For most, those effected by the swine flu will not require a doctors visit or anything beyond the normal measures used to combat seasonal flu. For the elderly and children, particular care should be taken and should you feel the need, don't hesitate to visit your local physician to assess the situation. Until the swine flu eventually dies down, follow these simple steps to help stay healthy and keep the spread of this virus to a minimum.

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