by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
A big news item of the day is not the Swine Flu - which really is a big deal - but that Israeli Health Minister Rabbi Yakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism has instructed Israeli government officials to refer to the Swine Flu as the Mexican Flu.
While no explanation was given in the brief instruction, the news media immediately jumped all over it as being BECAUSE THE MAN IS A RELIGIOUS JEW. You know, don't eat pig therefore can't call a disease Swine Flu - which is absolutely ridiculous.
Dear Main Stream Media, while I don't speak for the Israeli Health Minister I do happen to live in Israel. Let me provide that 20 seconds of cultural background you couldn't be bothered to gather...
In Hebrew, Chicken Pox isn't the Chicken Pox, and Shapat Chazir (Pig Flu) has a linguistic problem that Shapat Mexicani does not. Shapat Chazir would refer to a disease of pigs, not FROM pigs. Could it be the Israeli Minister of Health wanted to make sure the public actually understood? Naaa, must be Judaism.
In Israel, there are few (unfortunately not none) pig farmers, and few people in contact with pigs. Even fewer eating them. So people might very well hear Pig Flu and just blow it off - who cares about Pig Flu, we're not dealing with pigs here! So again, the name adjustment helps get the health message across to the full spectrum of the Israeli public. Or it could be the minister things the word Swine is evil because he's Jewish, with a beard and everything.
Now the one thing the media has absolutely not provided is any real WHAT CAN YOU DO JUST IN CASE information. Here is what I've heard, and I consider it good advice...
In Mexico, where the virus first appeared, more than 2,000 are now under observation. All schools, universities, museums and theaters have been closed, and church services were also canceled. Medical face masks have been distributed on the streets of Mexico City to try to contain the spread of the disease.
In the US, 41 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in five states. The first cases appeared in California and Texas. They were quickly followed by Kansas, Ohio, and New York. The latest suspected case appeared today in Michigan.
Around the world, other possible cases have been identified in Canada (6), Spain (20, 1 confirmed), Columbia (9 under observation), Britain (3 under observation), New Zealand (10 confirmed), France (2 under observation), Spain (1 confirmed and 19 under observation), and Israel (2 under observation).
Per the CDC, the spread of this influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads, from person to person through coughing or sneezing.
- People may become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
- Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.
- Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
Some viruses and bacteria can live for two or more hours on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.
A person carrying the virus may be able to infect others 24 hours before symptoms develop, and up to seven or more days after becoming ill. That means that the virus can be transmitted to someone else even before a person knows he is sick, as well as while he is sick.
At the onset of the outbreak in Texas, a family was quarantined after their son contracted the virus. Health officials arrived at their home, drew blood from the whole family, then quarantined them all indefinitely, according to CNN-affiliate KABB.
As the scope of this virus becomes more severe and the number of people who are infected continues to grow, it is highly likely that quarantine may be used to help contain the virus' spread. We therefore highly recommend that our readers prepare for the possibility that they may have to stay at home for an extended period of time. This means not being able to go to work, or to the supermarket for food. We advise our readers to be prepared for this possibility by laying in a supply of food, water, and essential medications that can suffice for two to three weeks.
Mystical Paths agrees that's wise advice.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא