The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the swine flu a pandemic earlier this week. Though there are still relatively a small amount of cases worldwide, less then 30,000, it has spread to 74 countries. There is
no need to panic, however, as South Carolina is well prepared. Department of Health and Environmental Control Spokesman Adam Myrick says that DHEC has been in a state of readiness even prior to the WHO’s declaration.
“It will also bring about more actions from vaccine makers to get the vaccine production process jump started and perhaps sped up a bit,” says Myrick, “but in terms of what it really means to us here in South Carolina, or really here in America at this point,(is) not a lot because we’ve been operating as if we were at a pandemic level six already.”
Myrick says it is important to remember that the swine flu is no more dangerous than and other type of flu. According to Myrick, “The flu that we have each year kills about 36,00 people in the United States every year.
“The virus may be different. The letters and the numbers indicated the virus may be different, but again, the flu is the flu. It makes you feel the same way. It is treated the same way and we see it spread the same way. It may be a little more intense and you may have the symptoms a little longer but that is key to remember, the flu is still the flu.”
A pandemic is an epidemic that reaches over a large area, often considered worldwide.