Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pandemic vs. Epidemic

What is a pandemic? How is it different from epidemic? With all the news about a possible swine flu pandemic, I am sure all of you want to know. Martin F. Downs of WebMD explains.

According to the feature, pandemic is the sixth most frequently looked-up word at Merriam-Webster's online dictionary this year. It is defined there as "occuring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population".

Is it the same with an epidemic? It is not. It seems an epidemic is determined by a certain percentage of deaths above what is considered normal for a period. That percentage is called the "epidemic threshold".

On the other hand, a pandemic is characterized by a new strain that has not infected people before, it is on a global scale, and it is unusually deadly. Apparently, this is now a very real possibility with swine flu.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a system of identifying where we stand with regards to pandemic flu. The system has six phases:

  • Phase 1 -- No new influenza virus has been found in people or animals.
  • Phase 2 -- New virus has appeared in animals, but no human cases.
  • Phase 3 -- A new strain of animal influenza virus infects humans, but there have not been human-to-human infections.
  • Phase 4 -- The new virus passes from person to person, but transmission is limited and confined to a certain location.
  • Phase 5 -- There is frequent transmission of the virus between people in a particular place, but it hasn't spread to the rest of the world.
  • Phase 6 -- Pandemic. The virus is widespread worldwide.

As of this posting, it has been reported that we are now at Phase 4.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu medication

More on this swine flu thing. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, past flu vaccines will not work against swine flu. Fortunately, there are anti-viral medication which work against it.

One is called Oseltamivir, also known as Tamiflu, and the other Zanamivir, also known as Relenza. Out of curiousity, I checked the Mercury Drug website for these drugs and am happy to report that Tamiflu capsules seems to be available.

For more info, listen to this podcast by the US CDC

What is Swine Influenza or Flu

I know this is off-topic but I cannot help but blog about this here. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses has been documented. See General Information about Swine Flu.

From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the U.S. and internationally have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see Human Swine Flu Investigation.

What alarms me is that the CNN has just reported that 81 deaths in Mexico have been linked to swine flu and that the United States has declared a public health emergency after 20 cases of swine flu have been identified. The CNN report reads in part:
The United States government declared a public health emergency Sunday as the number of identified cases of swine flu in the nation rose to 20.

The declaration is part of a "standard operating procedure" that will make available additional government resources to combat the virus, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the White House.

Additional cases of swine flu are expected to be reported in the coming days, added Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No one has died in the U.S. from swine flu, officials said Sunday.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said eight students at St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens have tested positive for swine flu. More than 100 students at the school were absent with flu-like symptoms last week, he said.

State public health officials in Ohio confirmed one case of swine flu on Sunday. There have been seven confirmed cases in California, two in Kansas, and two in Texas, Besser said.

The World Health Organization advised all countries to be on the lookout for "unusual" outbreaks of flu, after an emergency meeting Saturday as the seriousness of the outbreak became clear.

By Sunday, 81 deaths in Mexico had been deemed "likely linked" to swine flu. Viral testing has confirmed 20 cases, said Dr. Jose A. Cordova Villalobos, Mexico's health secretary.

How to install multi-user Quickbooks

I have been busy lately attending to a client who engaged me assist them in the installation of Quickbooks Pro 2009 3-User Edition.

The software is designed to be installed on a local area network where multiple users are able to access the same company file simultaneously. Installing it will actually require some basic knowledge in networking.

I learned a lot during this engagement. One thing I learned is that installing Quickbooks is quite straight-forward, especially if you took time in reading the installation guides available.

Incidentally, I prepared a list of all the steps in installing Quickbooks and would like to share it with you. It is a work in progress but I believe it will help anyone doing the installation feel his or her way.

Click here to read my Quickbooks step-by-step installation guide. You may also check out the link provided there to a very useful Quickbooks screenshot guide. For more information about the services I offer, check out my website at www.lumantao.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Building a Wireless Hotspot Workshop

If you are like me, you probably have attempted several times to share your DSL internet connection via wireless router but failed. For the likes of us, ACE I.T. Learning Solutions will conduct a very useful workshop on "buidling a wireless hotspot" on May 3, 2009.

The workshop will cover the following:
  • Wireless Equipment: Adapters, Routers, Access Point, and High Gain Antenna
  • Wireless Security: WEP, WPA, WPA2, and AD-Hoc Setup
  • Configuration: Ad-Hoc Setup, Enterprise Setup, Wireless Router, Access Point and Router Chain
For further details, you may call 7267672, 6924612 or 0915-9916911, or visit this page.

Paquiao vs. Hatton HBO 24/7 Episode 1

Pacquiao vs Hatton HBO 24/7 Episode 1 - 1/3

Pacquiao vs Hatton HBO 24/7 Episode 1 - 2/3

Pacquiao vs Hatton HBO 24/7 Episode 1 - 3/3

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Farrah Gray: Self-Made Millionaire at 14

Willionaire. That is the title of the book of Farrah Gray, entrepreneur and said to be the youngest self-made Black American to become a millionaire at 14. Watch this CNN interview with him and be inspired.

Pro-active Customer Service Series

The Harry Pound Company brings us their Pro-Active Customer Service Series at an amazing price of only P999 per seminar, that is if you reserve on or before April 24.

Seminar #1: Effective Customer Complaint Management

Date and Time: May 14, 2009 (8:30am-12:30pm)
Venue: Horizon Hotel, Edsa, Mandaluyong City
Every customer encounter is a possible situation for encountering complaints. Since it is so common, the question is how do we successfully resolve them?
This seminar presents complaint management strategies that will enhance your ability to resolve conflicting views, use key phrases to pacify customers and negotiate well to reach mutually acceptable resolutions.
Seminar Objectives:
1. To enhance your ability to effectively deal with complaining customers
2. To develop a complain management system that balances the company's and the customer's objective
3. To gain insights that would develop your confidence and maturity when dealing with difficult situations
4. To learn and apply how to manage customer expectations properly
Seminar #2: Managing Difficult and Demanding Customers
Date and Time: May 14, 2009 (1:30pm-5:30pm)
Venue: Horizon Hotel, Edsa, Mandaluyong City

In business, you cannot predict the type of customer that you will meet, and more importantly, you cannot be discriminatory in serving customers. 

It is a fact that you will encounter both negative and positive people in your daily work. The challenge is on how you turn negative customer incidents into successful encounters.
Experts say that difficult customer situations can be defused if the customers feel they are being treated properly. Therefore, we should not discount the difficult customers because they are also potentially good customers that are worth saving.
Dealing effectively with difficult customers will benefit you as well as your organization. It takes real skill to be successful with challenging customers and in the process boost your confidence and interpersonal skills.
Seminar Objectives:
1. To develop insights on what makes customers difficult and what might be driving their behavior
2. To improve your ability to interact with different types of difficult customers
3. To develop a framework on how to deal with customers in complicated situations
4. To formulate a practical action plan on preparing yourself for problematic customer encounters

For more information, email trainingforless@harrypound.com.

Negoskwela Schedule for April and May 2009

After quite a long absence, let me start posting again with this training schedule of Negoskwela for the later part of April and May 2009.

Summer is not only a good time to go on vacations. It is also a perfect time to learn new skills that you can use for the rest of the year. As they say, prepare for the rainy season.