As news about the rapid spread of swine flu and the potential for a pandemic has taken over the headlines, the medical journal Lancet has urged individuals to take responsibility. In an editorial, the journal has acknowledged that "containment of the outbreak is no longer feasible and countries should now be preparing to mitigate the effects of the virus on their populations." Historically, the highest number of deaths occur in developing countries, and most deaths occur in low- and middle-income populations.
The Lancet emphasizes that the public should expect more deaths from swine flu, but individuals can help prevent its spread. If an individual has flu-like symptoms, including fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing (some people may have runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea as well), he should call his physician. Individuals who are ill should stay home from work or school and remain as isolated as possible from other people to avoid spreading the disease.