Health Chats
Swine Flu: A Cause for Panic?
Wednesday Apr 29, 2009, 01:00PM - 02:00PM (EST)
Enoch Choi, MDBlank
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care, Palo Alto, CA
Do you have swine flu? Dr. Enoch Choi, MD, an Urgent Care provider in the San Francisco Peninsula, will help answer questions on how to tell swine flu from a cold, and from seasonal influenza. Swine flu has not yet been proven to be a serious enough virus to declare this to be a pandemic, but nations around the globe are discouraging travel to USA and Mexico. Just how dangerous is this virus? How can you protect yourself? How can you stay healthy? Come ask these questions and more from a physician on the front lines, treating folks coming back from Mexico with upper respiratory illnesses that match the CDC's protocols for treating suspected swine flu patients.<br><br> <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Missed Dr. Choi's first chat? Due to the demand, we have scheduled a second <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/health_chats/register/18">Swine Flu Health Chat</a> <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Visit the <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Swine-Flu/show/356">Swine Flu community</a> to continue the discussion and exchange information about swine flu. <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Learn more about Swine Flu from Dr. Enoch Choi's blog post <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/83652">Do I have Swine Flu?</a> <div style="margin: 10px; float: none; height: 85px; border: 1px solid #E5E5E5; padding:10px 25px;"> <div style="background: transparent url('http://video.nbcuni.com/healthology/thumb/ee8a6d86032c7e85009980d59151bee7_large.jpg') no-repeat scroll 9px 10px; float: left; padding-right: 25px;"> <a href="/health_videos/Dr-Nancy-Snyderman-Talks-About-Swine-Flu/show/1833" style="color:#006CC8; text-decoration:none;"><img src="http://www.medhelp.org/RoR/images/health_videos/video_overlay.gif?1" alt="Video_overlay" style="height:69px; width:94px; border: 0 none;"/></a></div> <div style='padding-top:23px;font-size:14px;'> <a href="/health_videos/Dr-Nancy-Snyderman-Talks-About-Swine-Flu/show/1833">Dr. Nancy Snyderman Talks About Swine Flu</a> </div> </div>
Dr. Enoch Choi:
not that i understand
PurpleL:
I am a nurse.  Since I am likely to contact sick patients, how can I protect my friends and family?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
cdc guidance: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/identifyingpatients.htm  personally, i'm showering before i get home and washing clothes separately.  If we declare a local epidemic, i'll be checking in to a hotel near my clinic
Worried1105:
Hi, im from Houston....I have all the symptoms except for the fever.  Should I worry?  If so, where do I get checked....at the hospital or any doctors office?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
watch for a fever 100+ degerees, anc if you get it, call your doctor
Dr. Enoch Choi:
for heaven's sake, dont' just go
tracilynn72:
What are the causes of death due to swine flu, is it respiratory?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
I can't say, but i suspect pneumonia
buzfar:
How long do you think it will be before they will have a vaccine for this flu?  Esp. if it is thought that a mutated strain can then hit harder in the fall?  Will a vaccine for this one be possible? And if so, available to all?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
many months.   a vaccine for new mutations is possible.  it again will take many months.  can't say who it will be available to.  this is why it's so important to personally be ready at home for 2 weeks of sheltering in place, with enough food & water and medicine if you're chronically ill
drumtech:
Building on fvf147, is it possible that traditional and social media is painting an inaccurate pitcure in the other direction. Do medical professionals feel this isn't as serious as the public fears?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
medical professionals don't know yet.  so far it hasn't been bad.  that can change
criscat111:
Is tap water safe? Or is it bette to use bottled water?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
tap is safer than bottled, more regulations
Frenchmaid:
Dr. Choi, i have a 16 year old teen i try to tell him to wash his hands but he take with no importance at all what can i do to protect my family is he ever cary this at home from his friends or school
Dr. Enoch Choi:
don't give him food until he does.  for me, hunger is a good incentive to obey my parents ;)
Dr. Enoch Choi:
i'm kidding, just tell him how important it is
rosslynnie:
Why is it that the majority of deaths have appeared in Mexican cases? How severe is it, compared to, say, the SARS outbreak in 2003?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
not as bad as sars yet.  sars sickened many thousands and killed 700.  we're not there yet.  could get there
Wiffle:
What kind of mask is effective against the flu virus, if it came to that point? I have simple procedure masks, would they be a deterrent?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
N95 that's been fit tested
EmmieJ:
What do you say to the people who are dismissing this as "hype"/"hysteria"/"panic"?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
i tell them to talk to me in an hour.  there's new cases every hour: http://www.twitter.com/CDCemergency
janiedress:
We live in Jacksonville FL. My son and his girlfriend both have symptoms of a stomach bug. Vomiting, low grade fever. Should they be checked by a doctor or should we wait to see if other symptoms arise?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
fever >=100 and travel to Mexico or adjoining state?  call yoru doctor
Lala333:
We live in WA State and my husband was told yesterday that he had flu A.  Blood work was taken and sent to a further lab for testing of the swine flu.  Why did this happen?  Can't the first lab sample detect swine flu if that's the case?  Why a second test?  How long would it take for us to know?  
Dr. Enoch Choi:
if it's flu A but untypeable, it's possibly swine flu.  we haven't seen this strain before.  it is an entirely novel virus.  a new PCR test is being used to see if it's H1N1
raven21901:
I have intracranial hypertension.  Does this disease lower your immune system.  There is a few outbreaks in a university near my house.
Dr. Enoch Choi:
not that i know of
Carolee888:
Is Tamiflu ok for people to take if they have egg allergies?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
not from eggs, safe as far as i know of
MsIna:
I have METS, Stage IV, and I also have myelodysplastic syndrome.  I don't have any symptons of the flu, so should I ask my doctor about giving me a flu shot?