The Swine Flu and Diabetes

The following article gives some great hints for what you can do to protect yourself from Swine Flu. Jane Jeffrie Seley, MPH MSN GNP BC-ADM CDE, points out that since people with diabetes are considered at higher risk for any seasonal influenza (flu) complications, we must assume that the same is true of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1). Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to other flu symptoms and include fever, chills, body aches, headache, cough, sore throat and fatigue. You should contact your healthcare professional if you have severe symptoms of flu since it may worsen your blood glucose control and you may need more aggressive treatment. Visit the CDC online for further information about swine-origin influenza A and ways to protect yourself, or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) 24 hours day.

| Apr 29, 2009

Experts have been warning of a worldwide outbreak of a horrific influenza ever since 1997, when the first human cases of so-called H5N1 avian influenza were reported in Hong Kong.

Two years ago the news was filled with a similar threat - bird flu. We got lucky.  The threat didn't ripen into a pandemic. Now we are watching and waiting to see what happens with another type of influenza - swine flu.

A spate of ominous mounting human cases has suddenly cast the threat of a pandemic into the headlines once again: The alarming trends have led many public health experts to shed their normally cautious language when talking about the flu. The World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva, Switzerland, recently raised the pandemic alert level to 4-just one step away from the likely beginnings of a pandemic.

The Three Most Important Websites

Confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S. are tracked by the CDC and recent swine flu news can be found at the World Health Organization.  Check travel advisories if you are contemplating travel.

Preparations To Take & Precautions to Implement

People can take basic steps to prepare themselves and their families for the worst.  While these two simple actions may seem like a pittance in the face of a swine flu pandemic, they could help to decrease your chances of infection.

1.  Take the time now to learn about swine flu.  This will help you begin preparing emotionally for an event that may now be hard to comprehend.  Those who have prepared themselves emotionally and intellectually will be able to act quickly and wisely while the unprepared are still struggling with denial and inaction.

2.  Get in a habit of practicing the basic CDC-recommended hygiene techniques that you should have been practicing all along (but probably haven't):

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away after you use it.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth since germs can spread this way.  Your children will learn this quickly if you teach them.
  • Get in the habit of washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.  Although influenza spreads by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, it can be carried on other surfaces.   

3. Buy some face masks now.  I have taken the modest step of buying (for a few dollars each) some face masks to have on hand in case the pandemic begins, although their effectiveness is limited in blocking transmission of the tiny influenza virus. (Masks with a rating of N95 or higher are apt to be more protective.) Such masks may be in short supply when the pandemic begins.

4. Plan ways to minimize your contact with others as you conduct essential business. To be sure, if a swine flu pandemic arrives, it will not be up to parents to send their children to school or not.  Schools will be shut down. Large public gatherings, such as sporting events, will be prohibited.  However, the small decisions you make every day will help to determine how many potentially infected people you come into contact with.  

Mark Jerome Walters is a veterinarian and the author of Six Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them (Island Press, 2004).  A Visiting Lecturer at Harvard Medical School from 2001-2003, he is currently a professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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Posted by kilty on 30 April 2009

We have been told to have nothing to do with pigs of anykind since Biblical times. No one should ever eat any product of the pig. It is one of the most filthy beasts around and we are forbidden to eat it yet we do so and then wonder why this great pandemic started and will grow and eventually kill millions. When will people learn to follow Biblical commands..that also includes the eating of certain shell fish and crustaceans. Wake up people!

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

That is a silly comment. We are no longer in the dark ages. We cam eat any thing we want without fear if the creatures we eat have been raised properly.
Your myths have no place in the modern world.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

This really isn't very helpful, is it?

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

The bible and pog thing I mean!

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

Which epidemic? According to the C.D.C, 35,000 persons die in the U.S. every year of normal strains of influenza. Most of these cases occur in November, December, January, February, and March... now we are in May... And a total of ONE person has died in the U.S. from Swine Flu, and less than 50 in Mexico. But millions of children have had school suspended, and thousands of persons have been left without work.

This is the Epidemic That Never Was... it is an Epidemic of Alarmist Statements by the United Nations World Health Organization, and alarmist coverage by the news media that loves a good story.

Posted by Aer on 1 May 2009

I'm sorry kiltyone but pigs are no as you think. Pigs roll in the mud to keep cool cause they can not sweat. This isn't so. The mud also protects a pig from insect bites and from sunburn. Because they roll in mud, pigs often look mucky and people think that they are dirty animals. But pigs are clean animals! They will have a place which they use as a toilet which is well away from the places where they eat or drink. The only reason that pigs smell is because people keep them in tiny, tiny pens which is very cruel for such a smart animal. They probably smell better than humans would smell, if humans were kept in cages of the equivalent size and forced to live with their waste products. Pigs are smarter than your dogs. It's sad to see how people think of them. I wish people would do more research before they just assume something.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

Pigs have nothing to do with the Swine Flu anyway. Come on people, get educated on this!

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

How misinformed you are Kilty, this isn't spreading because people are eating pork, it's not contracted that way. Clearly there is a much bigger issue of HUMAN hygiene. As was stated, pigs don't choose to live in confinement. They are actually animals that prefer to live cleanly, they are just not afforded that luxury in most cases. I would assume that you are Jewish to puport such hatred of pork. You must also follow the same train of thought and believe that birds are the most filthy animals and people shouldn't eat them either, if we are to use your same logic. Please take the time to educate yourself outside of your small circle of knowledge.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

The swine flu or H1N1 has nothing to do with pigs or pork food products, as far as human transmission is concerned. Ancient prohibitions may be a result of poor food handling and improper cooking, or improper sanitary conditions. Pig biology and the diseases they are susceptible are quite similar to humans. But to use this disease outbreak as an opportunity to promote a religious idiology is wrong...

Posted by cduregger on 1 May 2009

In support of kittyone's comment: In Biblical language and in the context of meat, "unclean" means defiled or unfit to eat. Without going into the religious reasons, the practical reasons some animals considered unclean are: swine because they are scavengers and will consume anything dead or alive and have een known to carry parasites and disease, birds of prey (again, those which feed on carrion), fish without fins and scales because we now know the prohibition of this group was/is wise on hygienic grounds, shell fish and crustaceans because they can easily cause food-piosoning and may also carry disease. It's not about mud bud! Thus you can see we have an all wise and all knowing God who laid out the plans for a healthy life thousands of years ago. What you see now happening in the health and medical field is the result of spurning Him.

Posted by Kris4321 on 1 May 2009

You can't catch swine flu from eating pork, kittyone! It's spreading human to human.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

As far as swine flue and eating pork products go, it has been clarified that eating the cooked meat is not linked to contracting the illness. My main concern in the "world of diabetes" is the insulin. Are not some forms of insulin derived from pigs? Can the illness be transmitted via insulin?????? This is what concerns me for my childs' health.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

Give me a break!! Religion has nothing to do with Swine Flu. Religion is for people who can't think for themselves. All religion does is make you feel guilty for being human.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

Wow, sad sad comment, Kitty.
The H1N1 virus contains genetic material from pigs, birds, and humans. So, are birds also horrible dirty beasts that we shouldn't eat? Are humans nasty filthy creatures to be avoided (well, maybe but that's another topic)?
It should be made clear that this virus is not caused by pigs, is not transmitted by pigs, cannot be spread by pigs, and in fact did not originate IN or FROM a pig's body itself.
To slaughter pigs because of H1N1 would be like chopping down a tree to stop a mosquito bite. Completely irrelevant.
This was a waste issue, and every creature on earth produces waste.
However, not every country on earth disposes of waste products in a healthy way, hence influenza outbreak.
LEAVE the POOR PIGS alone and stop spreading evil lies disguised by the bible! How lazy!

Posted by mgordon on 1 May 2009

I've read in a medical journal that pigs raised in close proximity with chickens get the disease from chickens. Then the farmer gets it from the pig? The farmer must practice safety standards as mentioned above to prevent from getting the disease. That's why I buy organic. The organic farmers separate their farm animals, feed them organic grain and follow other safety measure.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

Wondering if this is the same swine flu from back in the late 70's, that the gov't had an program for a series of 2 injections and then changed and a group of people only received a single shot?

Posted by Anonymous on 1 May 2009

People, please stop bickering about religion... The article is about "The Swine Flu and Diabetes." Just because kitty made implications from the Bible doesn't mean everyone should go off track. If kitty can't have freedom of speech than NOBODY else should either. I live in the Philippines, in the neighborhood of pig slaughterhouses, and nobody here got the Swine Flu. Food is cooked very differently here, compared to USDA/Health Department regulations in America. In regards to diabetes, the ADA, in cooperation with the FDA, forcefully promote manmade drugs for treatment of Diabetes, while in Philippines, Diabetes Philippines promotes herbal remedies in treating diabetes.
Back to the Swine Flu, in respect to any kind of influenza... I've been through the slums of Manila, and never contracted any type of deadly disease, like the one American educators have warned about. Before moving the Philippines in 2006, I had to be innocolated with an experimental Bird Flu vaccine, but when I arrived in Philippines, the Bird Flu was non-existant.
In the comments before me, there are two believes that interact with each other. One is religious and one is athiest beliefs. There's a biblical theory and there's a biological theory. It's all part of freedom of speech.
Humans die and that's a natural occurance. While people are worried about Swine Flu, many forget the simple things in life, like reducing Stress for the Diabetic. There's more chance of a diabetic dying from Hyperglycemia than from the Swine Flu. Generally, any type of influenza raises the blood gloucose level in most diabetics. The fear of Swine Flu just raises the stress levels, which has bad reactions in diabetics.
People that are diabetics should be more concerned about controlling the stress levels rather than the fear of contracting the Swine Flu. There are more chances of having a diabetic attack than contracting the Swine Flu.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 May 2009

First of all Jesus said that all food was clean so as of the New Testament food has nothing to do with Gods law. You cannot get this flu from eating pork.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 May 2009

Kitty please read the new testament as God removed this ban on any animal product with Peter.
Although swine flu is not related to pigs

Posted by David Spero RN on 4 May 2009

This article is more of the manufactured panic over a very minor threat. It is like the bird flu; an almost non-existent threat built up to sell tamiflu and vaccines.

As someone asked, this IS the same swine flu they warned about in 1976. They rushed a vaccine into production and required people to take it. 25 people died and a couple of hundred got Guillain Barre, a very serious and disabling disease. The swine flu never came.

A good article on this is at

Don't believe the hype. Like the "war on terror," the swine flu is an excuse for government to expand its power and take our money. Of course, handwashing and good hygiene are always valuable. But closing schools and canceling flights is major overkill.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 May 2009

I live in West Texas. It hasnt made it hear YET. There are a lot of hispanic people here that travel to Mexico. A lot of these people are saying that the drug lords are responsible for this so the focus is off of them. I believe that the drug lords there could very possibly have something to do with this. I do worry about my diabetic daughter though so we have stocked up on masks and sanitizer.

Posted by gatchell on 6 May 2009

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.
I appreciate

Posted by Anonymous on 7 May 2009

Humans have been killed by humans since the begining of time by war amd the spread of disease from human to human. To vilify pigs because of this flu is wrong. Pigs are the closest mammal genetically to humans. That is why pig heart valves are used to replace human heart mitral valves. Pigs are extremely intelligent and are clean animals. As some one else mentioned-people would smell a lot worse if they had to live in the same conditions as the poor pigs do. Lastly, and this can be verified by anyone who has worked in emergency medicine or in wound care-the human mouth has more pathogens than any other mammal. A human bite will get infected 100% of the time. Just wanted to get some facts out there to the uninformed.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 May 2009


Posted by Anonymous on 12 May 2009

Ok people I think kittyone may understand that the swine flu did not come from eating pork, but if less people did eat pork there would be less pigs, so there would of been less chance of a mutaation of disease.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 July 2009

My wife is Diabetic and there are people in my work place off ille with SF symptoms, I was hoping to find some useful health tips on here not the total bollocks that most of you have posted !!!

Posted by Anonymous on 24 July 2009

Soon open trucks will cruise down our streets and through megaphones they will shout bring our your dead! bring out your dead! And the corpses of our loved ones will be thrown into the back of the trucks for incineration, and eventually when all the lights go out because the power stations are full of the corpses of the work forces we will lie ont the floor alone in the darkness coughing and sneezing wimpering, I do not want to die alone! I do not want to die alone!

Posted by dalex60 on 15 October 2009

This article was disappoining to say the least, I was searching for the risk(s) if any for diabetics getting the H1N1 shot. Instead, I landed in the middle of a rediculous debate over the cleanliness of pigs... And for all you bible-thumping schmucks, please keep your particular brand of "voodoo" to yourselves... Thank you!

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