Diseases are major causes of death, disability, and social and economic disruption for millions of people. Between 14 and 17 million people die each year due to infectious diseases ? majority of whom live in Africa. Africa as we know it today, carry the burden and scars of many deadly diseases. If diseases were measured in form of liquid and Africa is a container, there could not be any more space for even a single drop. The continent can’t afford and not prepared to deal with another deadly disease.
The outbreak of Swine flu in US, Mexico and other countries has caused panic all over the world. Africa in particular is vulnerable for a number of reasons. For one most Africa countries don’t have the facilities and the capacity carry out screening of all the people jetting into the continent. Even if governments were prepared for it which we are not, there could not be possibly enough hospital beds or stockpiled of enough antiviral drugs. Then there is issue of porous borders which allow people to slip to and fro from one country to another without being detected by the authority. There also nature of Africans to deal with here , Africans are highly social people. we like to sit together, we like to share, we believe in firm handshake, and some have bad manners of blowing their noses and throwing whatever come out away. Yeah throw it away on the open air and from there you understand why there is fear that this could be catastrophe of magnitude never seen before.
The fight of diseases in Africa has been helped by the generosity of developed countries like US, Britain, Canada and others but now there is a problem. As I write this A public health emergency has been declared in US as a precaution. Twenty swine flu cases have been found in the U.S. Canada reported six. In Mexico, the flu death toll has climbed to 86. The experts fear that the spread of the disease might has gone as far as UK and New Zealand. Now with that in mind don’t expect these countries to come down here and help. This coul be a case of each country for herself and God for us all and that is why we must pray and do it now. May the hand of God protect us, the shield of God defend us, the host of God save us.
? Swine flu viruses typically sicken pigs, not humans. Most cases occur when people come in contact with infected pigs or contaminated objects moving from people to pigs.
? Pigs can catch human and avian or bird flu. When flu viruses from different species infect pigs, they can mix inside the pig and new, mixed viruses can emerge.
? Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of seasonal influenza – sudden fever, coughing, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. This new strain also appears to cause more diarrhea and vomiting than normal flu.
? Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu although the CDC is formulating one. The seasonal influenza vaccine may help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses, like the one circulating now.
? People cannot catch swine flu from eating pork or pork products. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.