Might Not Be a Bad Idea to Stock Up Now

From CNN:

At last count, the CDC said there are 43,771 H1N1 reported cases in the U.S., along with 302 deaths that have been linked to the illness.

In a normal flu season, about 36,000 Americans die from influenza and related complications.*

Models predict the 2009 H1N1 flu will peak in October, with many cases being diagnosed in September, according to Dr. Robert Belshe, director of Saint Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development.

“We’ll be in the midst of it before we know it,” Belshe said.

Swine flu could sicken one in five people this fall, and Belshe said he worries that the number of serious health complications and deaths as a result of the H1N1 virus could soar.

“It’s looking more and more like we’re going to have a big flu outbreak this fall as soon as the kids get back to school,” Belshe told CNN Radio.

“Influenza is unpredictable, but I believe this pandemic will hit pre-teens, teens and their parents hard, and as many as 60 million Americans could be sick with the flu. It’s critical that we find a way to protect people from this disease.**”

Sooooo, the latest SWAG at this time is that we’re going to get whopped hard by the flu before a vaccine is available. That is probably correct as we’ve been seeing the death rate from the flu double in Florida in the past few weeks.

Considering that there isn’t a vaccine available at this time and that the only response available for public health officials to try to cut the infection rate in the event of a big outbreak would be quarantine, I think it might be a good idea to have food storage adequate for the family for several weeks, particularly since the infectious waves seem to be for @ 12-week intervals. We received a letter from the State of Florida that recommended a 90-day food supply in the event of a pandemic a couple of years ago.

Oral rehydration solutions can be made at home or purchased; my thought on this is that since the flu strikes quickly, it would be best to have some on hand for immediate use just in case adult(s) in the household responsible for caring for others is/are the one(s) stricken.

I’m going shopping next week. I suppose there is a possibility that this could burn itself out and not return in the fall, in which case the worst that will happen is that I’ll have lots of soup, beef stew, and Gatorade in the pantry.

*In a normal flu season, the CDC doesn’t count flu deaths. The only deaths counted have been pediatric deaths, and only for a few years. The 36,000 is just a guess and, considering the low actual pediatric death rates, probably wildly inaccurate.

**If that many people develop the flu, the hospitals/medical personnel would be overwhelmed. Slowing the spread through quarantine until a vaccine is developed would probably be done.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Princess Bernie said,

    Article in the paper here this morning about a 26 year old young woman who died just weeks after her 19 year old brother in southeast Indiana. Their mother does not know how they got the flu.

    God bless that mother.

  2. 2

    kc said,

    I can only imagine how awful that might be…and I’d really rather not.

    Hubby is from southern Indiana – stepson is still there…and if anyone has a compromised immune system, it’s that guy (born with mild CP as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome, he’s schizophrenic with a drug ‘problem’). Will hope for the best for him and his.

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