The number of swine flu cases in the world was counted at tens of thousands just a month ago. Those were the confirmed cases. Now the Center for Disease Control speculates a million people are currently infected in the U.S.
More cases were expected to occurr in the winter; but in the Southern Hemisphere, winter has just begun. Two of my siblins have been diagnosed with it.
My knowledge of the disease is limited by my Spanish in this part of the world. A week after I began my studies here in Chile, two of the children in my host family– Max and Macarena, ages 14 and 17– became infected, as did many in their schools. Symptoms include headaches, immense physical weakness, and occasional vomiting. Both are bed-bound.
The doctors have distributed pills of some kind to the family to prevent further infections. We have told to go about our lives as normal, though the victims now wear facial masks and are not to leave the house.
Gabriela, another of my host siblings (at 19 years of age), began experiencing migraines last night.
Despite the doctor´s advice, I´m not sure which is safer: leaving the house and risking infecting others if I carry it, or staying indoors and risking exposure in every room. The disease is less contagious than seasonal flu, fortunately, reports the CDC.
Since the disease has such a low mortality rate– hardly 1 percent and only among the elderly, most of my readers need not worry. The only risk is incapacitation by a disease scientists have not yet created a vaccine for.