Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, December 11, 2009


Swine flu apparently not prejudiced against other animals

A handful of pets have been sickened with swine flu in recent weeks. The H1N1 virus has been diagnosed in only a few cats and ferrets since it emerged in April.

Veterinarians say they don't know if that is because so few animals have been tested or because so few have the disease. Although plenty of other diseases can jump between animals and people — ringworm, salmonella, plague and rabies, for examples — such transmission is rare for flu viruses, health experts say.

There is no evidence that humans can get the swine flu infection from pets. It's the other way around. So people are advised to keep washing their hands and covering their coughs — whether they are around lots of fellow humans or home alone with the family pet.



A good man who used his extra time generously

One didn't have to know Chris Pablo, 59, to be touched by him. Diagnosed in 1995 with myelogenic leukemia, cancer of the blood, Pablo would go on to spur many bone marrow drives. Even after a successful transplant that gave him a new lease on life — allowing him and wife Sandy to raise their sons into adulthood — Pablo worked tirelessly for the organ donation cause, cancer awareness and other health efforts.

His was a life of accomplishments: assistant to U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, public affairs director for Kaiser Permanente and most recently, a health policy lawyer. All that — and much, much more. A life richly lived. A generous spirit that lives on.