First Swine Flu Case Confirmed in Dogs

A little over a month ago, the news came that family pets were coming down with swine flu (H1N1). Cats and ferrets were catching swine flu from sick owners. Now it looks like dogs are at risk for swine flu, too. A thirteen year old dog in New York was diagnosed with swine flu this month. He was showing signs of having difficulty breathing, so his owner brought him to the vet’s office. Because the owner had recently recovered from swine flu, the veterinarian decided to have the dog tested. Two separate labs — including Iowa State University, where first … Continue reading

Swine Flu Vaccine Supply Finally Catches up with Demand

It only took two months, but it seems that the supply of swine flu vaccine here in the United States has finally caught up with the demand. A lot of people have had trouble getting the vaccine so far — you may have heard stories of (or experienced) long lines and canceled flu shot clinics. Still, a lot of high risk people did manage to get a swine flu shot. Now there should be swine flu shots a-plenty… just in time for the virus to start fading away. Experts are seeing the number of new cases go down, but that … Continue reading

China Protects Pandas Against Swine Flu

We have evidence here in the United States that both cats and ferrets can catch swine flu (H1N1) from humans. Officials in China are concerned that pandas may also be susceptible to the disease. A panda research center has been closed to visitors in hopes of protecting the endangered pandas from swine flu. The Shaanxi Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center started seeing increased numbers of swine flu cases and flu symptoms in general after the weather turned cold and snowy in November. Now they’ve put a halt on recruiting new volunteers and are not allowing staff members with flu-like … Continue reading

Swine Flu: Two Week Rebound?

In the last few days, two of my friends who’ve had swine flu have been talking about a “swine flu rebound”. To make a long story short, it seems that a good number of people who have had swine flu experience a reappearance of symptoms a couple of weeks after they thought they were better. One friend thought it might be linked to folks over-exerting themselves. I can understand that — when I’m sick, I suddenly get the urge to go out and do things and be social… specifically because I know I can’t or shouldn’t be doing those things. … Continue reading

First Swine Flu Case Confirmed in Family Pet

Despite all the worry about swine flu (H1N1) over the last few months, I’ve been confident that four-legged family members were safe from the disease. Until now. Government officials released information on Wednesday, November 11 about a cat from Iowa — thought to be the first confirmed case of swine flu in a feline. The thirteen year old cat exhibited the following symptoms: lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing. The vet who treated the cat described the symptoms as flu-like. Testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames confirmed that … Continue reading

Santa and the Swine Flu

Santa has one wish this Christmas: He doesn’t want to get swine flu from your kid. S.O.S. Spare Our Santa! It’s the battle cry shared by mall owners around the world. If your kid is sneezing, coughing, has a sore throat or—-GASP!-—a fever, keep him far away from Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. Lest you think this warning is just a bunch of holiday bah humbug, think again. Mall owners are going all out to save Santa from ending up in the ER this Christmas. At malls in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Santa’s elves have a new job this year: Prescreening children … Continue reading

Caretakers and the Flu

Who is the caretaker in your family when somebody gets sick? When I was growing up, taking care of sick kids was my mom’s job (although she did share the duties with both of my grandmothers on occasion). With the double flu whammy this winter, you may find your family needing a caretaker. It’s all too easy for the flu (or another illness) to hop from one member of a household to another! Here are some tips to help keep the flu in check if somebody in your family gets sick. First and foremost, try to keep the sick person … Continue reading

Dementia and the Flu

Seems like an odd combination, no? Dementia and the flu. Researchers from the Tufts University School of Medicine found that there may indeed be a connection between dementia and the flu… and it’s not a good one. Seniors with dementia seem to be diagnosed with the flu less often. They have shorter hospital stays if they are diagnosed with the flu, and are more likely to die from the flu or complications of the flu than seniors without dementia. The research team looked at five years of data from the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. That data included … Continue reading

Having Trouble Finding a Flu Shot?

While I was out running errands on Saturday, I noticed a sign on the door of the local Rite Aid pharmacy: all flu shot clinics are canceled. It went on to suggest other places where people might be able to find a seasonal flu or swine flu vaccine. It seems like demand for the flu shots is high, and suppliers aren’t able to keep up just yet. More than one friend has mentioned hitting the flu shot clinics and being turned away (in some cases, it’s happened more than once). Part of the problem is that swine flu vaccine manufacturers … Continue reading

Sleep, Flu and Chinese Food

I just read Pam’s blog post that mentions the importance of sleep with losing weight. I completely support this notion, or should I say that all of the studies I have been reading lately support this. Lack of sleep wrecks havoc with your body, especially when you get older, and the newest research even links lack of it to belly fat. I was just mentioning this fact my husband. Blessed with the kind of thin build that usually supports food indulgence without weight gain, he is starting to put away a bit of belly fat. It is certainly nothing to … Continue reading