The “swine flu” is in the news a lot these days. Here’s what you need to know:
· Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.
· Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing and people touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.
o The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days for analysis.
· Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food.
· Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public.
o Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria.
o Although the current trivalent influenza vaccine is unlikely to provide protection against the new 2009 H1N1 strain, vaccines against the new strain are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.
· Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, including ordinary influenza and the swine flu virus.
o Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows small droplets containing the virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes.
Credit where credit is due: – Much of the above came from Wikipedia, one of the most awesome resources on the internet!
Originally posted 2009-04-30 16:55:22.