Hysteria has already begun with the recent news of the swine flu outbreaks in Mexico, the US and Canada. I have spoken to people who say that they intend to wear face masks in public as soon as a case of the flu has been reported in our state. Others have stated that they will take further extreme measures, such as remaining home if “things get bad.”
There is no denying that the possible spread of an especially dangerous strain of influenza is a matter of concern. Very young children, old folks like me, and people with suppressed or otherwise compromised immune systems are at real risk, but only if they actually contract the disease. Fortunately, there are simple precautions that can be taken to minimize the chances of contracting any airborne disease, and of passing it on to others.