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Texas toddler dies of swine flu, infected up to 91

Texas toddler dies of swine flu, infected up to 91The swine flu has claimed its first fatal victim in the US – a 23-month old baby in Texas. The current official CDC count of confirmed cases in the US is 91 in 10 states.

The earliest confirmed case of swine flu in Mexico, referred by doctors a patient “zero”, is a 5-year old boy in a Mexican pig farm. He survived the virus. The World Health Organization has declared a level 4 pandemic status, meaning that the risk of human-to-human transmission is high. Several schools in New York and Texas have been closed. In addition, the CDC states that two groups of people highly susceptible are children and pregnant women and the agency has issued “new interim guidance for clinicians on how to care for children and pregnant women who may be infected with this virus.”

Which is why the first thing I did this morning was go to the pharmacy and buy a box of surgical masks (100 pcs per box) and a bottle of disinfectant. But I tell you, I was embarrassed and felt foolish while doing this. I haven’t even informed my husband about what I did. I told the pharmacist that we are going to Spain on holidays “soon” so I’d better be prepared. This is actually a white lie because the trip isn’t till early June. But why do I feel this need to justify my actions?

I guess I’ve always prided myself as being a rational person who is not prone to panic based on news headlines. However, as a mother, rationality sometimes flies out of the window when I hear little babies get sick and die of epidemics.

I am not sure whether the masks and the disinfectant can protect my family from swine flu but it is the best I can do. What I also do is regularly keep up with official updates. And to be fair, I also have read what the other side – the conspiracy theorists – has to say (and what they have to say is shocking). Even with my scientific training, it is not easy to know the truth from the lies in this case. However, what I pay attention to are the figures and the numbers and what I am convinced of is that children are highly vulnerable. I guess for now I will let my maternal instincts rule over my rational self. So don’t be surprised if you hear that I am stockpiling food in our cellar.

So how are you reacting to the swine flu epidemic news? What are you doing to prepare and protect your family?

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