10 On Your Side: Swine Flu





What Is Swine Flu?
The current virus is described as a new subtype of swine flu or A/H1N1 not previously detected in swine or humans. The virus combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before.

How Is It Transmitted?
People cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Most influenza viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe. No food safety issues have been identified, related to the flu. Preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the flu had contact with hogs. The virus is spreading by human-to-human transmission.

Swine Flu Symptoms
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and include:

Fever
Fatigue
Lack of appetite
Coughing
Runny nose
Sore throat
Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea

What To Do If You Get Sick
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

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
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
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
(CDC)

Steps You Can Take To Stay Healthy
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 hands cleaners are also effective
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
(CDC)

Links And Other Resources
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has a toll-free information line to answer any questions you may have about the swine flu. The number is 1-888-777-5320

World Health Organization Human Swine Influenza Site

CDC Human Swine Flu Investigation Site

Texas Department Of State Health Services Swine Flu Site







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