Important information on the swine flu virus

Important information on the swine flu virus

POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 1:34pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:33am

Swine Flu Information
What is swine flu?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease from pigs caused by the type A influenza virus. Humans normally don't get this type of flu, but human infections can and do happen. The origins of this new strain remain unknown.
How can swine flu be spread?
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of infection with influenza from these animals if the animals carry a strain that is also able to infect humans. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A few more patients than usual have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food.
Is there a vaccine for the swine flu?
No.
What medicines are there to treat swine flu?
The CDC recommends the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses. If a person gets sick, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
Where to get more information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevetion: 1-800-233-4636
Texas Department of State Health Services: www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu/default.shtm
Cameron County: www.co.cameron.tx.us/Health/swine_influenzaa_information.html or call (956) 247-3685
Swine flu hotline: General public: 1-888-777-5320 or Clinicians 1-877-623-6274
For more information visit PandemicFlu.gov

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