The media would have us all trembling in fear of the "pandemic of the century." This guy says don't sweat it, but don't pet it either. And especially don't make out with it.
Dr. Rick Kilgore, a drug developer and researcher in Birmingham and general aviation pilot, has agreed to let me post the email in which he replies to the concern that the flu may have an impact on Civil Air Patrol operations:
I am currently in NYC at a Infectious Disease Meeting. I am one of those responsibile for the development and testing of many of the current vaccines that Sanofi-Pasteur Pharmaceuticals makes through clinical trials. We are here meeting on the development of H5N1 (avian or bird flu) that we will be testing this summer. But we have discussed the H1N1 flu that is currently showing signs of illness in Mexico and a few individuals who recently vacationed in Mexico or were there on business. There are plans to add to the influenza vaccine in the Fall possibly as a tetervalent vaccine rather than a trivalent vaccine. There will be nothing done in the interim since this H1N1 flu is treatable by either a standard dose of either Tamiflu or Relenza. If identified family members or coworkers or those suspected of exposure can receive prophylatic treatment with the same two drugs (just longer treatment period).
The suggestion for not coming to an area if you show signs of a respiratory illness is good and always recommended. I suggest that the more common suggestions be followed if a large group of individuals are working together and that includes the use of soap and water and/or hand sanitizers. The number one prevention of the spread of any respiratory illness is keeping your hands out of your nose, mouth or eyes.
There will be no vaccine available from any pharma company until the Fall. Treatment with antivirals is available. But wash, wash and wash the hands and limit handshaking, etc. will go a long way in stopping the spread. Remind groups to practice good hygene when working in groups. Symptoms are mild in this H1N1 from what the CRC is notifying us but does include headaches, sore throat, coughing and of course fever. It does appear that small children are experiencing nausea and vomiting, something that is not normally seen in the flu. So if members have children at home who are sick, even if they do not have symptoms, they also probably would do everyone a favor if they also stayed away from groups of follks.
Just some additional information for your use.
He also tells me that "hopefully we are going to see a decrease in the number of flu cases as we move toward the end of the flu season" but also goes on to say that it's also possible we may see a more virulent form of the H1N1 by Fall of this year and that of course everyone is working tirelessly to have a vaccine ready.
*Rick's is one of 15 sites in the US who are going to be testing in humans the swine flu vaccine this summer to be used this Fall. He was previously awarded the contract to test the bird flu vaccine later this year. When I asked for an update he said trials start July.
*Update: trials start Aug. and I am fortunate enough to be included! Woo! I believe in the science, the process and the vaccine and I don't care who knows.
Estar bien and gesunheit.