How Dangerous is This New Strain of Swine Flu? Researchers Should Have a Clearer Idea by May 10, 2009

Today is May 1, 2009, and here’s what the AP is saying about H1N1 (the new strain of swine flu):

Researchers will get a better idea of how dangerous this virus is over the next week to 10 days, said Peter Palese, a leading flu researcher with Mount Sinai Medical School in New York.

This means that my wife and I intend to keep up the frequent hand washing and other precautions (such as staying home if ill) at least till May 10. We have small children, and we want a little more certainty from the medical community than we are being given right now.

The early signs look good, though. More from the AP:

So far in the United States, he [Peter Palese] said, the virus appears to look and behave like the garden-variety flus that strike every winter. “There is no real reason to believe this is a more serious strain,” he said.

Palese said many adults probably have immune systems primed to handle the virus because it is so similar to another common flu strain.

Humanity may have dodged a bullet, but it’s a good idea to stay vigilent for at least another ten days or so.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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