Stay calm, but be on guard

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

We don’t ever want to raise public alarm needlessly. That can’t be said of all our colleagues in the media profession.

Back in April, journalists, fueled by information from health officials, created frenzy about swine flu and its threat of a pandemic. Schools cancelled classes for weeks even if one student became sick.

Well the global catastrophe never materialized. People who got sick suffered from only mild symptoms, even weaker than the “normal flu.”

As summer came along, people seemed to forget about the disease. Well, now that fall is approaching, the H1N1 virus is back on the front burner.

Again, we don’t want to alarm anyone. The flu hasn’t shown to be as dangerous or deadly as once feared.

However, the numbers do show that swine flu is spreading quickly. Virtually every case of the flu in Alabama last month was the swine flu. And H1N1 is accounting for more and more of emergency room visits.

Everyone should take extra steps to stop the spread of the disease like washing hands or covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home from work or school and call your doctor immediately.