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Pensando en ustedes

Silvia Leavitt

Las classes est n en session otra vez despues de la fiestas y todos se preguntan el uno al otro, Como estuvieron tus vacaciones? Muchos han contestados: "Barbaro, furon muy lindas, fui a Mexico" o "Fueron muy buenas y relajantes." Pero aunque usted no lo crea muchas personas han compartido conmigo el hecho de que estuvieron enfermos durantes las fiestas o tuvieron uno o dos miembros de sus familias enfermos. Yo no estuve libre de esta experiencia para las fiestas. Empezando con una de mis hijas unas semanas antes de las vacaciones; yo pense que ella tenia neumonia y la lleve al doctor, por suerte sus pulmones estaban libres de infecci n pero todavia tenia esa tos que duro por tanto tiempo y que me hizo pensar que era mas que "una simple gripe." Mas tarde yo empece con los sintomas; estuve muy agradecida por estar en vacaciones asi no tenia que perder de trabajar, pero estuve un poquito celosa de aquellos que estaban disfrutando completamente y a todo vapor, las dos ultimas semanas del ano. No puede dejar de escuchar en las noticias que durantes estos 14 dias hubieron mas de 40 pacientes que habian sido hospitalizados en Utah por s ntomas relacionados a esta gripe; siendo los ninos pequenos y ancianos los mas afectados. Esta gripe tiene el nombre de California porque algunos doctores creen que ha sido originada en el Condado de Santa Clara en California. Hasta ahora los estados que han sido m s afectados despues de California son Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas y ahora, Utah. Con tantas personas viajando en estas tres semanas pasadas, doctores han estado preocupandose de que pueda expanderse aun mas rapidamente a traves del pais. Ahora ya sabemos que hay por lo menos seis provincias en Canada que ya estan afectadas por este bicho (virus). La gripe tipicamente comienza con dolor de cabeza, que no te quiere dejar en paz, escalo fr os y tos. Estos van seguidos con fiebre, perdida de apetito, dolores musculares y fatiga, mucosidad nasal, estornudos, ojos llenos de agua e irritacion de la garganta. Cuando los ninos consiguen esta gripe pueden tener nausea, vomitos y diarrhea. Probablemente lo mas serio que puede presentarse es dificultades al respirar, y el desarrollo de neumon a o deshidrataci n. C mo es transmitida? Esta enfermedad se esparce a traves del contacto con saliva o mucosidad de una persona infectada mientras tosen o estornudan. Yo diria que es t n importante cuando usted esta en lugares publicos protegerse a si mismo y tener con usted ya sea panuelos de papel, toallas descartables o tallas desinfectantes para limpiar las superficies con las cuales va a estar en contacto, porque alli es donde quizas alguien que estaba enfermo dejo sus "recuerdos." Por cuanto tiempo alguien que esta infectado puede contagiar la gripe? El periodo de contagio varia, pero provablemente comienza el dia antes de que aparecen los sintomas y dura mas o menos una semana (si tiene suerte). Es la gripe peligrosa? Si! Aunque la mayoria de las personas se recuperan de la enfermedad dentro de una semana, algunos tienen complicaciones que pueden poner en peligro la vida, como la neumonia y tienen que ser hospitalizados. He visto dos numeros grandes relacionados a personas que mueren cada ano en los Estados Unidos de gripe o complicaciones relacionadas con ella, un reporte dice que son 20,000 y otro dice que 40,000; cualquiera de las dos cifras es muy grande para mi. Para prevenir la gripe deberiamos practicar "una etiqueta respiratoria" para minimizar el esparcimiento de la enfermedad. Deberiamos: mantenernos alejados de otras personas cuando estamos enfermos. Cubrir nuestra boca o nariz con panuelos descartables cuando tosemos o estornudamos y luego tirarlos. Lavar nuestras manos frecuentemente con agua y jabon por lo menos 20 segundos. Si sus ninos estan enfermos deberiamos mantenerlos en la casa hasta que los sintomas se hayan ido. Guardemoslos en el hogar si estan enfermos pero lo mas pronto que se sienten bien, debemos mandarlos de vuelta a la escuela para que recuperen lo que han perdido de instruccion y ponerse al tanto con la clase. El conseguir una vacuna para la gripe es una manera excelente para prevenirla pero debemos conseguirla cada ano. Asi que si no lo ha hecho, no es tan tarde, todavia tenemos entre tres y cuatro meses de "temporada de gripe." Espero que no consigan esta enfermedad! Estoy al 513-0900 o al sleavitt. Got the California flu? School is back in session after the holidays and everybody is asking each other, how was your break? Many have answered, "Great, it was nice. I went to Mexico" or "It was nice and relaxing." But believe it or not, many people have told me that they were sick for the holidays or one or two members of their family was ill. I was not spared this experience for the holidays, starting with one of my daughters a few weeks before the break. I thought she had pneumonia and I took her to the doctor. Luckily her lungs were clear but still she had that lingering cough that made me think it was more than a "simple flu." Later on I started having symptoms. I was thankful to be on break so I didn’t miss work, but I was a little jealous of those who were enjoying the last two weeks of the year with full steam. I couldn’t help but listen to the news that reported during these 14 days there were more than 40 patients admitted to hospitals in Utah for symptoms related to this flu and little children and elderly patients were more affected by it. This flu has California’s name on it because doctors believe it originated in Santa Clara County in California and, so far, the states that have been hardest hit after California are Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas and now, Utah. With so many people traveling during these past three weeks, doctors have been worried that it could quickly spread even farther and faster across the country. We know now that there are at least six provinces in Canada that are already affected by this bug. The flu typically starts with a headache that won’t leave you alone, plus chills and cough. They’re followed by fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. When children get the flu they could suffer with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Probably the most severe symptoms to look for would be trouble breathing, the development of pneumonia or dehydration. How is the flu transmitted? This illness is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person during coughing and sneezing. It is so important to be aware when you are in public places and protect yourself by having tissues, paper towels or disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces that you’ll be coming in contact with, because they might be where someone who was sick left his or her "souvenirs." How long can someone who is infected spread the flu? The contagious period varies, but probably begins the day before symptoms appear and lasts for about a week (if you are lucky). Can influenza be dangerous? Yes. Although most people recover from the disease within one week, some have life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and may need to be hospitalized. I have seen two big numbers related to people who die each year in the United States from influenza or related complications. One report says 20,000 and another says 40,000; either number is big to me. To help prevent the flu we should practice "respiratory etiquette" to minimize the spreading of the disease. We should stay away from other people when we are sick. We should cover our mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when we cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue away. We should wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If our children are sick we should keep them at home until the symptoms are gone. Let’s keep them at home if they sick but, as soon as they are well, we should send them back to school, to make up what they have missed and catch up with the class. Getting a flu shot is an excellent way to prevent influenza but we should receive it every year. So if you haven’t gotten one, it is not too late — we still have three to four months of "flu season." I hope you don’t get it! I’m at 513-0900 or at sleavitt


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