Health Chats
Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Club Swine Flu Chat
Friday May 08, 2009, 12:00AM - 01:00AM (EST)
Enoch Choi, MDBlank
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care, Palo Alto, CA
Do you have swine flu? Dr. Enoch Choi, MD from Palo Alto Medical Foundation Urgent Care 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; 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> <br><br> <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Read the chat transcript from Dr. Enoch Choi's first <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/health_chats/archive/17">Swine Flu Health Chat</a> on April 29, 2009.
Dr. Enoch Choi:
if we end up getting more H1N1 in our community , here are good reccomendations about face mask use: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/masks.htm
MT_Preuss:
Who is most at risk for this flu - in terms of ages and other characteristics?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
the ages that die with traditional seasonal influenza are the very young and old.  we haven't seen that yet in USA.
Dr. Enoch Choi:
in mexico, it was concerning because young healthy folks were getting really sick and dying
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it's not understood why, but suspected that these individuals were misdiagnosed or had ARDS (drowned in their own secretions)
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it underscores the need to practice good hygiene
Dr. Enoch Choi:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/psa/hygiene.htm is a good mp3 audio file describing good hygeine practices
Dr. Enoch Choi:
hi smartwater!  thanks for coming!
Dr. Enoch Choi:
does your name suggest you're keeping well hydrated?  ;)
MT_Preuss:
When you say very young - what age is that?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
infants to age 2 are highest risk
Dr. Enoch Choi:
for seasonal influenza
Dr. Enoch Choi:
because they have less developed immune system
Dr. Enoch Choi:
less antibodies developed against organisms
Dr. Enoch Choi:
that's part of the theory behind why older folks are not getting sick, they haev some partial immunity based on past exposure to influenza
Dr. Enoch Choi:
that's just a theory
Dr. Enoch Choi:
since noone has experienced this virus before, you'd expect noone to have antibiodies responsive to this virus
Dr. Enoch Choi:
which is why it has the potential to spread quikly all over the world
MT_Preuss:
How is Swine flu treated?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/antiviral.htm shares how tamiflu and relenza are able to stop the spread of H1N1 in your body if administered in the first 48 hours of starting symptoms
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it does so by preventing shedding of the envelope protiens that are shed and spread to other cells
Dr. Enoch Choi:
by september there will be a vaccine available
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it will be tested first in first responders like me
Dr. Enoch Choi:
we hope it has less side effects than the 1975 swine flu immunization which caused more deaths from guillane barre than #s who died from swine flu
Dr. Enoch Choi:
oops.  11976
Dr. Enoch Choi:
1976
Dr. Enoch Choi:
the most important thing is to avoid getting infected in the first place, by practicing good hygiene
Dr. Enoch Choi:
Something that many have been asking about is whether or not it's safe to travel: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/content/swine-flu.aspx gives good guidelines.  there are no travel restrictions currently.
Dr. Enoch Choi:
although you may run into crazy stuff like being detained at the airport if you have fever>=100 to wait for your flu swab to come back
Dr. Enoch Choi:
like in japan, korea, hong kong and singapore
Dr. Enoch Choi:
Many of our PAMP members may be pregnant, and here are CDC guidelines for that: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/pregnancy/
Dr. Enoch Choi:
basically, you're at more risk for more severe disease if you catch H1N1