Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine Flu @ Influenza A H1N1

Swine flu facts

Prevention: Wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and avoid close contact with sick people.

Preparation: Stock up on N-95 face masks and gloves to wear if an outbreak occurs in your community. Also stock up on food and any critical medicine as transportation and delivery systems may be slowed or shut down if an outbreak occurs. “And stock up on hand sanitizer,’’ said Dr. Linda Van Etta, St. Luke’s infectious disease expert.

If you are sick: Stay home and limit contact with others. Call your doctor only if your condition gets worse than the usual cold or flu, and then make sure to wear or ask for a mask when you get to the doctor’s office or hospital.

Symptoms: Fever, cough and sore throat; some also have had vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms can occur anytime from one to three days after exposure. “You will ache all over like a truck ran over you,’’ Van Etta said.

The virus: Considered a strain of swine flu but also combines genetic material from birds and humans never seen before.

Infections: Infected people are contagious for up to seven days from onset or longer if they continue to display symptoms. Young children might be contagious for longer periods.

How do you get it? The virus is believed to be transmitted through coughing or sneezing. You cannot get it from eating pork or pork products.

How do you get rid of it? Tamiflu and Relenza are recommended. The flu vaccine you may have had last fall for seasonal flu will not protect against swine flu.

For more information: Go to

Sources: Dr. Linda Van Etta; Minnesota Department of Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

P/s: The flu is spreading very fast and many countries have already been affected. So friends, please take an extra precautions. This is no jokes.

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