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We Have Nothing To Fear But Flu Itself?

There’s nothing quite like bad news in a bold print headline to give you a good case of the willies.

To whit:

Swine flu claims first victim in U.S., CDC confirms

By now you know the back story.

The Swine Flu has rattled nerves world wide.

Governments have declared states of emergency.

Travel plans have been scuttled.

In Texas, even state wide athletic events have been cancelled for fear that this particular virus might spread.

Now, there is no doubt that this outbreak of the flu has had devastating consequences for those infected.

But if we could take a step back from news cycle amplified, media driven hysteria for just a moment, a few facts to keep in mind.

First, what we are experiencing with the Swine Flu so far isn’t really all that different than the effects of the virus every single year.

During a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 persons die as a result of influenza viral infection. Frequently cited numbers are 20,000 deaths each year, and 37,000 annual deaths. About 5-10% of hospitalizations for influenza lead to fatal outcome in adults.

This doesn’t mean that a flu outbreak isn’t a serious thing. But neither is it uncommon.

How bad will the Swine Flu outbreak get before it is all said and done?

No one knows.

What we do know is that influenza outbreaks have been awful in the past. The Hong Kong Flu of 1968 killed over a million people world wide.

And since Swine Flu isn’t common in human populations we do not have natural immunities built up to resist it.

The current outbreak has also caused deaths in young and otherwise healthy individuals. Normally flu fatalities are mostly seen among the very young or the elderly.

If you will pardon the pun, the Swine Flu is nothing to sneeze at.

So what should we do?

Exercise common sense precautions.

Answers in Genesis gives an excellent set of practical steps to take in light of the potential dangers involved.

Our first line of defense against swine flu is simple and easy to do: “Basic cleanliness that your mom taught you,” remarked Ken Ham when he was addressing the AiG staff on this issue. Wash your hands frequently with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the tissue immediately; and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unclean hands. If you are sick and your symptoms are mild, stay home from school or work; however, head to the doctor’s or to a hospital if your symptoms get worse or if you have trouble breathing.20 Those ill especially should avoid travel.19

But there is also something we should not do.

Give way to panic and fear.

Or listen to unfounded speculation.

On the so-called Yahoo Answers site a secular poster adds this unhelpful piece of libel.

Why are creationists calling swine flu a hoax?

On answers in genesis a new article claims that swine flu is an atheist conspiracy to prove evolution, and was actually released from a lab.
Hopefully any “free thinkers” who come across this will take a moment to go to Answers In Genesis and discover that any such reference is only a figment of an overheated imagination.
The bottom line?
Fear and those who attempt to exploit fear are as much of a potential problem as the actual Swine Flu virus itself.
The antidote?
I would suggest taking a deep dose of God’s truth.
Along with the practical steps outlined above, make sure you apply the “Psalm 91 Prescription” for fear!
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. (Psalm 91:1-6)

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