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Linda Mundorff

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January 2010

Food Handling, Cooking, and Storage

 

Swine Flu Pandemic Should you Halt Non-Essential Travel into Mexico?

May 2009
By Dr. Linda Mundorff, MPH,MSN,ND,RN,CNC,CTN

The swine flu has already killed close to 150 people in Mexico, while cases are being reported in the U.S. and abroad. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that we are near pandemic proportions and should take this outbreak seriously.

Those most at risk are the very young, the elderly, and those with respiratory health problems because the immune system is not at peak performance. That being said, everyone is still at risk of contracting this serious disease. Symptoms of the disease may start out to look like the common cold with a cough, sore throat, fever, and generalized fatigue and weakness. However with a cold, the symptoms should start to resolve within a few days; while the flu symptoms are worsening.

The best way to prevent the spread of this disease, and any other for that matter, is to practice excellent hand-washing, not just a rinse under the water, or a quick soap up, but a 30 second scrub.

Proper hand-washing includes:

  • Turning on the faucet with a paper towel (in a public restroom)
  • Make sure the water is very warm
  • Wet hands and place enough soap to suds up well
  • Apply friction as friction helps to remove germs from your hands
  • Thoroughly wash ever part of your hand
  • Rinse and dry well
  • Turn the faucet off with a paper towel
  • Use the same paper towel to open the bathroom door

Stay out of areas that are high risk, and ventilate your RV to circulate the air to prevent the possibility of breathing in any air-borne germs. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards.

Mexico is not the only hot spot, although it is the most concerning. There have been cases reported in Texas and New Mexico and by the time this article is posted I am sure there will be other cases as well.

Frankly, if you don't have to be in one of the hot spots then by all means stay away. Why put yourself and your family in harm's way? The Centers' for Disease Control has recommended that all non-essential travel into Mexico be suspended for the next 2-3 months. Take the warnings seriously, your trip to Mexico can always be rescheduled but your health may take a hit that you won't be able to fully recover.

In health and wellness,

Dr. Mundorff

For more information visit:

Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/travel/

Disclaimer: Dr. Mundorff is a Registered Nurse and Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, and not a medical doctor. The information in this column is for educational purposes only and should not be used to self-diagnose and treat diseases, nor be misinterpreted as a prescription. This information is provided with the understanding that the author is not engaging in a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with her readers. In the author's best judgment, the information and opinions expressed here are accurate and sound at the time of publication. Readers who rely on the information in this book as a replacement of the advice of a medical doctor assume all risks of such conduct. The author is not responsible for errors or omissions. Please consult your doctor before starting any alternative modalities.