Swine Flu

Here’s the best info I’ve found about it. Just wanted to share this, anyone with a sick kid I’m sure is a little freaked out. It’s from (of all places) Bloomberg News online. I’ll also post a link but reprint it here to make it easier.

By John Lauerman

April 30 (Bloomberg) — Swine flu has sickened at least 257 people in 11 countries, including Mexico, the U.S., New Zealand, Canada and the U.K., according to the World Health Organization.

The organization raised its six-tier pandemic alert to 5 and said the world’s first influenza pandemic since 1968 may soon be declared. Hundreds of more cases are suspected, as health officials around the world check to see whether infections have occurred in their countries and ready measures to prevent its spread.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about swine flu. The information is drawn from the data released by the World Health Organization in Geneva and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Q: What is swine flu?

A: Influenza is a virus that infects people, birds, pigs and other animals such as ferrets. Swine flu, or swine influenza, is a form of the virus that normally infects pigs. There are many forms of flu, and the different varieties have the ability to exchange genes with one another. The form of flu that originated in Mexico is a genetic mixture of viruses that have been seen in pigs, birds and people. It’s being called a swine flu because the overall structure of the virus is of the type that affects pigs, said Keiji Fukuda, a WHO official.

Q: How do people catch swine flu?

A: Studies are ongoing about how this particular swine flu is transmitted. Flu is generally transmitted through the respiratory tract. Droplets of infected body fluids may carry flu when people cough or sneeze. Studies indicate that masks called N95 respirators, when properly used, filter germs from the breath and hamper the spread of flu. Neither contact with pigs nor eating pork has been linked to the spread of the flu, Fukuda said.

Q: What are the symptoms of swine flu?

A: About one to four days usually elapse between the time a person is infected and the onset of symptoms. Influenza normally causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches and body aches, fever, chills, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Swine flu causes the same symptoms, and may be difficult to distinguish from other strains of flu and respiratory illnesses. Severe cases of flu that lead to death are normally seen in very young and very old people whose immune systems are too weak to fight off the virus. Adults with severe illness may also have difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, or severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Q: Is there a vaccine against the swine flu that’s now spreading?

A: Flu vaccines generally contain a dead or weakened form of a circulating virus. The vaccine prepares the body’s immune system to fend off a true infection. For the vaccine to work, it must match the circulating, “wild-type” virus relatively closely. There is no vaccine currently that exactly matches the swine flu. The seasonal flu vaccine isn’t effective against swine flu, saidRichard Besser, acting head of the CDC.

Vaccine makers have contacted the World Health Organization about obtaining samples of the virus needed to make a vaccine. Making flu vaccine can take three to six months. No decision has been made to order a vaccine against swine flu, Besser said.

Q: How can I tell if my child is sick?

A: Children who are breathing abnormally fast or slowly may have respiratory illness. Bluish skin indicates a need for quick attention. Children who are abnormally sluggish and sleepy, irritable, or have fever or rash may also need attention.

Q: Have there been outbreaks of swine flu before?

A: Yes. Health officials said in 1976 that an outbreak of swine flu in people might lead to a pandemic. Widespread vaccination was carried out in the U.S. before experts determined that the virus was not dangerous enough to cause a pandemic. Swine flu occasionally infects people in the U.S. without causing large outbreaks. From 2005 through January 2009, there were 12 reported swine flu cases in the U.S. None of them caused deaths.

Q: Why are health officials concerned about the outbreak of swine flu?

A: When flu viruses mix genes with one another, they can take on new forms. New flu viruses are harder for the human immune system to defend against. With little or no opposition from the immune resistance, the virus can grow quickly and invade many tissues and organs. They may also set off a harmful immune overreaction in the body, called a “cytokine storm,” that may be lethal in itself. The swine flu virus from Mexico may have the ability to spread quickly and kill people, possibly causing a worldwide pandemic, according to the WHO. Researchers are conducting studies to determine how easily the virus spreads in people and how dangerous it is.

Q: What’s a flu pandemic?

A: A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus spreads quickly and few people have immunity. While influenza viruses were only discovered about a century ago, researchers believe flu pandemics hit about two or three times each century. Some pandemics kill a few million people globally. The most severe flu pandemic on record was the 1918 Spanish Flu. Researchers estimate it killed about 50 million people around the world.

Q: Are there any similarities between the swine flu and earlier pandemic viruses?

A: Flu viruses are classified by two proteins on their surface, called H for hemagglutinin and N for neuraminidase. The swine flu found in Mexico and the 1918 Spanish Flu viruses are of the H1N1 subtype. Both viruses appear to have originated in animals. Researchers believe the Spanish Flu spread to people from birds. The two viruses are not identical, and there are still many genetic differences between them that researchers are studying.

Q: Do all H1N1 viruses cause pandemics?

A: No. H1N1 descendants of the Spanish Flu virus continue to circulate in people and sometimes cause outbreaks of seasonal flu.

Q: Are there drugs that treat swine flu?

A: Yes. Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu andGlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Relenza both react against swine flu. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released 25 percent of its stockpile of Tamiflu and Relenza, according to Secretary Janet Napolitano. Flu viruses sometimes develop resistance to antiviral drugs. The human form of H1N1 seasonal flu that’s currently circulating is resistant to Roche’s Tamiflu (not Relenza). If the two viruses were to exchange genes, the swine flu might become resistant, too. The drugs should be administered within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to the CDC.

Tamiflu and Relenza may also help prevent swine flu in people who have been exposed to someone who was sick.

Q: How else can I protect myself from swine flu?

A: Personal hygiene measures, such as avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing and frequent hand-washing, may prevent flu infection. Those who aren’t health professionals should avoid contact with sick people. People who get sick with flu symptoms should stay home. Studies have suggested that closing schools, theaters, and canceling gatherings in the early stages of a pandemic can limit its spread. Such measures would likely take place if health officials determine that the virus is spreading quickly enough and is deadly enough to cause a pandemic.


Here’s the link to the article: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aLdy2aZer5fM&refer=home

Advertisements
Swine Flu

One Of Those Weeks…

It’s been one of those nutty weeks trying to catch up and of course my baby got sick which means late nights and interrupted sleep.

I was glad to see that Arlene Specter moved away from the party of nut jobbers (now at just 20% of the country calling themselves Republican since they have successfully collapsed the big tent) and with the obvious yet pathetic (on the part of his Republican adversary) attempt at keeping Al Franken from his rightful place in the Senate, but he’ll be vindicated soon, this puts the Dems at the exact 60 seats I predicted and as I said in the prediction last October it would be a squeaker. And boy was it. I was kind of shocked at the accuracy of that prediction when Specter announced his change of party. 

And I’m going to toot my own horn here again and say that Obama has been doing an amazing job with the economy. As it turns out the stats are in that since he’s taken office the economy is in the process of doing a 180 and there are some economists who feel the recession maybe over as early as this summer. Pretty amazing. I would be cautiously optomistic about that one, but I do feel we will really truly be recovered in the next couple of years. The unemployment rate is preey outrageous here in California but then again we have a Republican robot Governator so what did we expect? My mother used to say that Republicans were known for their excellent foreign policy and Democrats for their domestic work. As it turns out Republican leadership isn’t good at either! Not this brand of crazy, neo-con nut-jobbers.

And has anyone noticed that the press (I noticed on my local Fox affiliate and have heard it a few other places as well) that President Obama is often referred to as Mr. Obama? I can’t think of any other sitting president who was referred to as Mr. Is this some weird kind of racism, just like the FOX news freak out about Obama showing respect for a foreign Saudi leader instead of holding hands and skipping toward photographers for a photo op. Sometimes I really think George W. had some kind of serious intellectual deficit. I think he may turn out to be our first and only mentally handicapped president. Actually, that’s an insult the mentally handicapped who are often amazingly kind and gifted people in other ways. George was certainly not that. Thank God he’s gone!!!!

Oye Vey! 

I will write longer posts soon when the little one is doing better.

Best wishes and many blessings to all you fine people,

Denise

One Of Those Weeks…

Twit(ter) and Swine Flu

I didn’t mean to sound to cavalier about the swine flu. People have died from it. I just listened to an NPR broadcast about Mexico City shutting down all its schools until May 6 because of the outbreak. I’m glad everyone is taking this seriously, however, because they are it’s been my intuition all along that this will be contained pretty well. I have heard that it jumps species so this was part of the freak out over this particular flu. With all the trouble in Mexico I don’t see why anyone would want to vacation there for the time being anyway, so it seems they are probably more isolated than they would have been 10 years ago and this will also help contain the epidemic, although it has been found in New York, CA, Scotland and I think there was a case found in Spain. Again though every time I concentrate on it I don’t get any crazy feeling. 

Although I have been feeling there is something brewing behind the scenes and once I figure it out I’ll let everyone know. I’ve had some weird dreams and odd visions but haven’t quite figured them out yet. I get the sense that what I’m picking up is more long term, over the next 5-10 years. To me the scariest news I’ve heard in a long time was the admission by scientists that global warming is exponentially worse than any model they have come up with. There is talk that the ice caps will be gone in as little as a decade, some think even 5 years, some even sooner. I heard one scientist say that there was a chance most Antarctica would be melted by this summer but that seems a bit early, probably not by as much as we’d like to think though. We are really poised here for a serious extinction level event and it’s not even newsworthy. Sometimes things are so scary we can’t even look at them. I’m thinking I need to get more involved in the politics of global warming. If anyone knows of a good, effective organization to participate in post it on the blog.

OK, and I”m glad some people like twitter. Perhaps it works under certain conditions. Unfortunately, every time I read anyone I knows stream, it makes no sense to me. They are either talking about something completely out of context that perhaps they’ve been tweeting about for days or it’s about something extremely banal. I really hate small talk. And at least in my estimation twitter is like global small talk. But then again I live in LA so perhaps if your friends are all academics and are insanely brilliant it might be interesting. My friends are all artist/writer/comedians and actors so they have a tendency to ramble about stuff that I would get them not to talk about in a normal conversation. I have a way of deflecting boring small talk, because I have about as much tolerance for it as I do flees. But perhaps this is just my problem.

Many blessings to all you good people,

Denise

PS : The celebrities who twitter (at least the people I know who fall under that category) are actually really twittering. Why? I guess because most of them like exposure and attention. The more the better, think the character of Jenna on 30 Rock and Tracy Morgan’s character. They really are kind of typical of the actor type personality. Not that there aren’t brilliant, deep and intense actors out there, just not as many as they (the actors) would like you to believe.

Twit(ter) and Swine Flu

IQ, Starchild Skull & 8+) & Twit(ter)

Chris mentioned that if you type 8 + ) you get that smiley face dude, but I had no reason to do that and did not. Also my computer, the new one, is still doing the crazy type thing where it blows itself up for no reason while I’m writing. This happens to the point of the type becoming so large and illegible that I have to demagnify it. It’s odd, the lights are flickering right now, the DVD turns itself on and off all night. My daughter had the worst nightmare of her life, it took almost 2 hours to calm her down. Something is going on. I remember being a little kid and having so much scary crazy psychic phenomena happen it was ridiculous. The TV would turn itself off and on all day long, the garage door would go up and down, the radio dial in the car and at home would turn itself from station to station, this was when there were big giant knobs and stuff, light bulbs would blow out all the time, I’d go to tape something (with those early giant home tape recorders) and there would be creepy voices when I played back the tape. And that was before it got really bad. I hope my kid doesn’t have to deal with that. It was terrifying! I couldn’t sleep at night, it’s a long story I’ll dole out. I didn’t think being psychic was a gift at all, just a horrible curse. I really didn’t have a choice but learn to control it or I’d be calling the Ghost Hunters from an insane asylum. Seriously, not fun. 

Wei: Thanks for the tip about the “test” regarding the Starchild Skull. It sounds interesting. 

The weather here in LA has been so insane. It was in the triple digits one day and then in the 60s the next, windy and dry to overcast and humid. It triggered the migraine problem which is why I was absent for a couple of days on the blog. I’m a human barometer. I have one other friend with this problem and when both of us get migraine symptoms we know its going to rain. Thank God I don’t live in Chicago anymore, I’d always be sick.

IQ is interesting and I have read that men score higher on those tests than women. But this could be because the male brain is structured to be able to completely focus on something to the exclusion of all other things which is why they often can’t multi-task. Women are also genius’s when it comes to picking up subtle cues on people’s faces and can read very complex emotions quickly, have more color cones in their eyes and generally have trouble with spatial relationships. Perhaps this is why women don’t score as high, the things tested for on IQ tests are generally more male brain orientated and perhaps why people with Asberger’s do well on IQ tests. They have what some scientists have called extremely male brains.

A man invented the IQ test so it has the bias of what he thought mattered in intelligence. I’m not complaining, I have always done well on those tests but I have often thought them inadequate at truly getting to the root of intelligence in a comprehensive way. And depending on how the test is structured (if it is biased toward “general knowledge,” or logic or whatever) a person’s score can vary quite a bit. Believe it or not (and this is ironic since I’m a psychic) I always score highest in logic by miles. If you just tested me on logic alone my IQ is kind of outrageous, but throw in some general knowledge about who won the world cup or something I could care less about and I will not do as well (also I missed a lot of school, I mean a lot, actually an entire year once due to health problems as a kid.) I think that the more an IQ test relies on general knowledge the less it has to do with intrinsic intellegence or the ability to discern patterns, use logic to figure out things and extrapolate answers. In my opinion those tests are culturally biased and the better educated a person is, the better their score will be. In my opinion that sort of test is not only flawed but relatively worthless in a world where a person can google anything and get an immediate answer. I read an article in Discover magazine about the mind no longer being located just in the brain, that the access to information is so prevalant a person no longer needs to store everything and memorize it thereby leaving room for the brain to process things in new ways. As we develop and evolve, we might find that memory becomes less and less important in our evaluation of intelligence as information is codified in everything around us and serves little purpose taking up space in our gray matter.  It maybe more important to utilize precious brain space with remembering where to access any and all information and how to use systems rather than memorizing the Gettysburg Address.

OK and my rant for the night. What the hell is the point of twitter? So you can read the boring things people are randomly thinking about completely out of any context? I know model/actor/producer Ashton Kutcher somehow convinced Oprah that it was AWESOME. But come on. It’s ridiculous. I don’t want to know what someone ate for lunch. I don’t want to know what someone wished they ate for lunch. Can’t we have some privacy anymore? This is the last and final blow to the mental boundary of intellectual privacy. Plus it’s just dang boring. Please? Am I just not getting it? Or is this the emperor walking down the street with no clothes on and everyone’s just taking pictures on their iPhone of his cool new outfit?

Enough of my blabbing. I’m sleep bound.

Talk to you all tomorrow and many blessings to all you good people,

Denise

Oh and someone asked about the Swine Flu. I’m a bit worried about it intellectually, but I haven’t had any psychic feeling that it was going to go hog wild. Ok, terrible pun, something my husband would do but come on with a name like Swine Flu…

IQ, Starchild Skull & 8+) & Twit(ter)

IQs and Freakiness…

In the last post a smiley face appears but I didn’t put it there. Very odd.

Any way, I wonder how many of you have taken IQ tests and what your opinions are about them. It seems that the results vary wildly from test to test for lots of people depending on a variety of factors, some emotional, some motivational.

I’m going to put up a survey about the IQ’s so please take part in it.

Best wishes to all,

Denise

IQs and Freakiness…

Starchild

I’ve told everyone about the research I’ve been doing about alien abductions. Well, years ago I went to a MUFON meeting here in LA and held a replica of the Starchild Skull. This skull was found in a cave in Mexico and carbon dated to 900 years ago. Various tests had been done on the skull which was abnormally tough, actually it was sent to a lab and found to be impossible to break down. DNA tests were performed in the 1990s and they were inconclusive because only the mitochondrial DNA was retrievable. However the nuclear DNA which would have come from the father was unrecoverable at the time. 

Recently an episode of UFO Hunters tackled the Starchild Skull mystery. But having seen and felt the exact replica I don’t think they did a good enough job of conveying how convincing this skull is. It really looks like a hybrid, or a cross between a gray and a human being. It has been my feeling now after a lot of research that the most common type of alien known as the grays, have been interbreeding themselves with us for thousands of years. And in some cases they are accelerating the process by picking on particular familial lines. They seem to abduct several generations. Why? Well, it’s my intuition they are trying to change or tweak the overall human race, make us evolve in some direction either for pure scientific experiment or for a variety of other reasons, some sinister, some neutral and some benevolent. 

I would very much like to try to get information about certain commonalities between abductees. So far most of this research has been about psychologizing those involved in the phenomena. What I’m interested in are possible physical differences between abductees and everyday people. The Starchild Skull had no sinuses perhaps abductees would be more apt to have sinus trouble as it is my belief that they are potentially hybrid’s themselves, just much more watered down versions. If anyone is or knows someone who is an abductee please have them post or e-mail me some basic stats. Here is the info I’d like to collect:

1) Their basic IQ score.

2) Any other paranormal abilities, telepathy, telekenisis, premonitions, etc.

3) Any physical troubles, please don’t edit there maybe patterns here that no one has thought about.

4) Strange paranormal stories that have been passed down about the family, no matter what context they are put in either religious or otherwise.

5) Any gut feelings about the mission and/or purpose of the abductions.

6) Whether the experience was seen as negative or positive by the abductee.

7) Any residual effects noticed after an abduction experience or dream of an abduction experience.

8) Whether means were tried to rid the abductee of being taken against their will.

9) Any emotional problems the abductee feels maybe related to their experiences of abduction.

10) Any other info that seems pertinent to the abductee.

I’d like to compile as much information as possible and then try to find patterns. This is completely anonymous and no one’s name will ever been given out to anyone. Once I finish the research I’ll publish the findings on the blog and give an analysis. I have some strong feelings about these events but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. I would like to be more empirical in my process here due to the subject matter. I don’t want to just give some channelled answer or theory a whirl as this has already been done countless times without any real quantifiable effect or solid answer.

Thanks for your participation in advance.

Best to all you good people out there,

Denise

Starchild