Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flood. 5 Germy Mistakes You're Making Everyday. Myths of Common Cold. Pig Flu.

First this, maybe we can help these poor critters by remembering to click each day?

Australia Floods - Help Animals Now - Donate Today! 100% goes to charity

If you would like to get a daily reminder:

During this season of colds and flu, here are some pointers:
"You wash your hands frequently, do your best to avoid coughing strangers, and generally consider yourself to be a germ-avoiding pro. Still you may be surprised at five little things you're doing that may be leaving you susceptible to harmful bacteria and viruses.

1. Fruit peels: You buy lots of fruit to eat -- bonus points! But, when it comes to fruit you peel (think: bananas, oranges), do you ever wash them first? If you grab that banana, peel it, then handle the fruit as you eat it, you're potentially putting harmful bacteria right in your mouth. Think of all the people who handled that banana: the banana farmer in another part of the world, the guy at the grocery store who stocked the bunch, 19 customers who picked over it to get to the greener bunch they wanted, the checker at the market, the bagger -- and then you!

2. The handles/railings in your house: Did your roommate have a cold this week? Sure, you kept your distance and washed your hands frequently, but did you think to wipe down the stair rails and doorknobs?  More…..

3. Your shoes: Do you keep your shoes on in your house? Yes, this is a controversial issue -- those who like to keep their shoes on, thankyouverymuch, may take offense to rhetoric about removing shoes at the door. But, there has been a mounting amount of research in the past years indicating that what we track in on the bottom of our souls could be making us sick -- from chemicals lingering on sidewalks and roads to the microbes you picked up in the public restroom. In fact, some health experts consider taking shoes off in your home as a way that anyone can improve their health. Even the super-doc Dr. Mehmet Oz suggested this year that it was on his top-5 list of things he'd recommend people do. So take those shoes off, darlings!

4. Touching your face: We all do it -- a scratch here, a nose rub there. But every time we're touching our face (especially our nose, mouth and eyes), we're giving germs a free ride into our bods. Even if you can be a teensy bit more aware of when you touch your face throughout the day, you can reduce your germ exposure. No, don't be compulsive about it, but if you avoid rubbing your eyes now and then, you're doing your body a good service.

5. The water glass in the bathroom: When's the last time you sent it for a run in the dishwasher? How about now? Frequently used items like glasses -- especially when shared or left out on a countertop where droplets can accumulate from various sources -- can be a breeding ground for germs. Wash those glasses frequently, and don't share them!"
More at:

"Common Misconceptions About the Common Cold

Myth #1: Taking vitamins and zinc lozenges will make a cold go away quicker.
Myth #2: Echinacea prevents colds.
Myth #3: You’re more likely to catch a cold on an airplane than in someone’s house.
Myth #4:   A certain effervescent vitamin supplement will reduce the chance that you will catch a cold even if you are surrounded by sneezers and coughers.

It’s sneezing, coughing, and breathing that transmits droplets filled with virus particles. In addition, the virus can live on skin for 2 hours, so if you shake someone’s hand and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you can become infected. Hand washing is actually the #1 way to prevent transmission of the virus."
More at:


You Should Feed a Cold and Starve a Fever.

"The truth is: In both cases, eat and drink, then drink some more.
"Staying hydrated is the most important thing to do, because you lose a lot of fluids when you're ill," says Sears, who adds that there's no need for special beverages containing electrolytes (like Gatorade) unless you're severely dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea."


How You Gonna Keep Pig Flu Down on the Farm?

Pig Farms and Public Health:
"An article just published in Scientific American says that American pig farms are virtually "flu factories."
Industry results of pig flu tests are kept confidential, and the pork industry is reluctant to share data with health officials.

Earlier in 2010, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture finally implemented a surveillance system for pig-borne illness -- but the program requires the support of pork producers.

NPR reports: "National Pork Producers Council ... spokesman Dave Warner acknowledged that some producers may be averse to reporting sick pigs because they're afraid that the government will quarantine them.""

Just How Widespread is Swine Flu on Pig Farms?

Given that there are about 1 billion domesticated pigs around the world, humans have close contact with them, and the virus, like all flu viruses, is capable of spreading from pigs to people and from person to person, it's not unreasonable to suggest that pig farms could amount to "flu factories."
As the CDC states, "H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely."
As it stands there's no way to know exactly how many cases of swine flu occur on pig farms each year because the pork industry is keeping quiet. But given the close proximity that large numbers of pigs in factory farms are raised in, coupled with their often-poor health due to inadequate feed, inhumane treatment and stress, I wouldn't be surprised if it's rampant.
Currently the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are in the process of developing a surveillance system to monitor swine flu and other ailments in pigs, but if they really want to curb the spread of swine flu, abolishing factory farms and returning to small, family-run farms -- where pigs are kept healthy and raised in natural conditions -- would be the first step.
As in people, flu will spread like wildfire among animals that are immunocompromised, unhealthy and crowded together in close quarters. The solution lies not in better monitoring, but in establishing healthier, more sustainable farms that raise a small, manageable number of pigs outdoors, and on their natural diet.
More at:

Last night, it unexpectedly dropped down into the 20's, so it was too cold to work, so went shopping instead today.


pidge said...

You hit the nail on the head this time. I never think about washing our bananas and oranges. Thanks for the tip....

Jo Windmann said...

While you give some wonderful tips on preventing the spread of the common cold and the flu bug you are, unfortunately, very misinformed when it comes to the H1N1 virus and modern hog production. The CDC site in which you linked also states that: "NOTE: This page contains background information about influenza in pigs. This page does NOT contain information about 2009 H1N1 influenza" and I did not add the emphasis, the CDC did. Furthermore, if you would like to know how widespread the so-called "swine flu" is the CDC also reports that "from December of 2005 through February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza have been reported." It should also be noted that according to the CDC the H1N1 swine flu virus (the one that affects pigs) is NOT the SAME as the the H1N1 virus that affects humans. I hate to see intelligent, caring people so radically misinformed and would love to shed more light on the truth about modern pork production. My family and I raise approx. 26,000 hogs annually in climate controlled barns, which qualify as CAFOs. We are family owned and operated, as are all the CAFOs around us. Just because pigs aren't raised in dirt pens anymore does not mean that they suffer from inhumane conditions or are inadequately fed. Please do not believe everything radical animal rights groups say about us. As farmers and pork producers we strive to give our animals the best care that we can to provide consumers and our own families with quality pork. I implore you to learn more about modern pork production at and You can always learn more at as well.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Jo, Thank you for your comment.

I have kind of replied to it in today's post.
Happy Wiggly Piggy Tails, Penny, TX