Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu

Hey family,
I'm sure most of you have heard about the swine flu that is hitting Mexico City right now. I've gotten a few emails from Josh that I'll attach. He's doing good and from everything that I've seen, as long as they take precautions with their hygiene he should be fine. Please keep him, as well as those he serves with in your prayers.
Thanks we love you!

This was Fri 4/25
alright so first things first, in Mexico City right now there is a really bad virus spreading its Influenza they say but there are lots of people sick and some are dying but so far no one we know has gotten sick but we just found out today so who knows but im doing fine we are all wearing these cool doctor masks that cover our nose and mouth so its a little wierd but yeah just so you know so if you see the news on tv dont freak out haha ill keep you posted about everything here.
This was Sat 4/26
this is the letter our president sent out to all of us and told us to send it home to our families to know what to do if they get sick and to know that we are doing all we can to stay healthy my comp and i have given eachother blessings and doing our best to stay healthy our services have been canceled for sunday and our president called today and said we are not to leave our houses untill we hear otherwise from him directly, so take care and i love you guys!
Elder Curtis

From: Mission Mexico Sur Presidente de Mission
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009, 1:13 PM
Because of the announcement yesterday that Mexico and the world are facing an outbreak of a new strain of influenza, many people have become worried about the risks and are not sure what to do to prevent illness. The memorandum below has the purpose of informing you and establishing the precautions for you to take in the Mexico City South Mission. Please send this email to your families so that they will know what is going on. This sort of challenge has happened before. This will not stop the Lord’s work. We are not minimizing the risk, but we ask you to go forward with faith. TAKE THE PRECAUTIONS RECOMMENDED, BUT DO NOT FEAR. The Lord will bless you. We love and pray for you always.
President Doxey


Officials are concerned because about 1,000 people in the last month have had a new type of flu. Some 20 confirmed deaths are due to this flu, and an additional 48 deaths are attributed to this flu. This new flu is a type of swine flu, that is, a flu that usually affects pigs. In this case, it appears to be able to spread directly from human to human. Every year, there are new types of flu, and many hundreds or thousands die. Most of those who die of the usual types of flu are people who are already sickly, including the very old and the very young. This new strain of swine flu is a greater concern, because most of those have died were young and healthy before getting the flu.

The type of swine flu that is dangerous causes the lungs to fill with liquid, as happens with pneumonia. This flu is very aggressive and strikes the lungs hard within 24 hours. So if you have been sick for more than a day without getting pneumonia-like symptoms, it is very unlikely that you have swine flu. If your breathing becomes difficult, and there is pain or heaviness at the level of your lungs (which is very different from a stuffy nose or a sore throat and a cough), call Dr. Brunt right away at 044 55 5217-1664.

Let me emphasize that we should not go to extremes. There is much misunderstanding and paranoia that are not helping with this situation. The following simple precautions will prevent the spread of influenza. Follow them sensibly and consider them as the health rules of this mission:

1. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY WITH SOAP AND WATER, especially before eating or touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes. When you wash your hands, it is important to apply soap, scrub, and rinse hands two or three times and then wipe them with a clean towel. Do not think that simply wetting your hands or using hand sanitizer is sufficient. Hand sanitizer can help a little if no soap and water are available, but contamination can stay on your hands if you do not wash thoroughly. Always use a clean tissue to clean your nose or eyes.

2. AVOID HANDSHAKES AND HUGS. SISTERS SHOULD AVOID SAYING HELLO TO OTHER SISTERS WITH A KISS. This is difficult in the warm Mexican culture, but try to avoid it during this epidemic, excusing yourself with kindness. In any case, wash your hands after shaking someone else’s hand.


4. AVOID DIRECT TOUCHING OF A SICK PERSON. After giving a sick person a blessing, wash your hands. You might postpone visits to sick investigators until after they are better.

5. STAY HOME IF YOU YOURSELF ARE SICK. Get better. Don’t spread your illness to others. Once your symptoms are gone, you can go back out.


At this point, the area presidency recommends that the Church in Mexico hold Sunday meetings as usual. Sick people and people who are prone to illness should stay home. They also should avoid handshakes and kisses and wash their hands regularly. Some stake presidents have decided to cancel Sunday meetings. As missionaries, we will support the stake presidents in this decision. It is fine if they wish to proceed with baptismal services with a limited attendance, but we should not insist but support their final say in the matter. Sunday is a regular missionary work day even if there are no meetings. Try to use the day to do good and make a difference. Visits and contacting are perfectly appropriate, but observe the precautions above. We understand if some people are very worried. Let’s do the best we can with good judgment and following the Spirit. We will see that the Lord knows how to do His work even if we have to change our normal activities for a season.

If you feel sick. Have your companion give you a blessing. Call me. Watch to see if your breathing is getting difficult in the aggressive way that might indicate swine flu or pneumonia. Do not go to the hospital, because there is a greater chance you will get something serious at a hospital than elsewhere. Do not go to the doctor, unless I instruct you to do so, because the doctor’s office is more contaminated than other places. If you need a doctor, I will instruct you to contact Dr. Brunt first at 044 55 5217-1664. Influenza is a viral disease. Antibiotics have no impact on it. Most cases of flu are not serious, and you get over it on your own in a few days. In fact, many cases of illness with flu-like symptoms are not really even the flu. Treat the symptoms. Drink fluids. Eat fruits or vegetables to maintain levels of vitamins A and C. Rest in bed.

It is especially important to lower your fever if you have one. A simple way to tell if you have a fever, if you don’t have a thermometer, is to take your pulse. If your heartbeat while resting is approaching 100 or more, it can mean that you have a fever. Other symptoms of fever are chills and high body temperature but no sweating. You can tell a fever has broken when you start to sweat a lot and when your pulse goes down to normal. Usually, a fever will break two or three times or more before it goes away completely. Keep treating your fever until it is gone.

Call me in two or three days if symptoms persist or get worse.
President Doxey

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