May 3, 2009

Facts about the Swine Flu

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs, but swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person. Some U.S. states have reported cases of swine flu infection in humans and cases have been reported internationally as well.

Swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. However, swine flu infection can be serious.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. It might include diarrhea and vomiting.
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Fast breathing or trouble breathing
· Bluish skin color
· Not drinking enough fluids
· Not waking up or not interacting
· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
· Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
· Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
· Sudden dizziness
· Confusion
· Severe or persistent vomiting
How does swine flu spread? There are two ways:

· From infected pigs or surfaces that are contaminated with these germs.
· From person to person, through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza.
Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of antiviral drugs that are prescription medicines. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

The source of this information is Center for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information visit

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