Many people traveling to or from Mexico have become increasingly worried as the Swine Flu outbreak intensifies, with the World Health Organization (WHO) raising the influenza pandemic alert level to 4 on April 27, 2009. In a statement made by WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan described the increase to the level of alertness as being “based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks.” Additionally the director-general consider that, given the widespread presence of the virus, “containment of the outbreak is not feasible.”
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. Swine flu can be spread much like a regular seasonal flu such as, the coughing or sneezing of an infected person.
Symptoms of Swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. These symptoms are very similar to those of the regular seasonal flu however, Swine flu may cause potentially fatal cases of pneumonia and respiratory failure so please consult your doctor immediately.
Swine Flu Prevention
The Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) recommends the use of oseltamivir and zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses. Oseltamivir, or by its brand name Tamiflu is approved to both treat and prevent influenza A and B virus infection in people one year of age and older.
Additional ways to prevent the transmission of Swine Flu
- Remember to always wash your hands, and wash them properly. First get your hands wet with clean running water and apply soap. If possible try to use warm water. Make sure to scrub all surfaces of your hand. Keep rubbing your hands for an additionally 20 seconds. Rinse your hands and dry your hands using paper towel or an air dryer. If you are able try to use the paper towel to turn off the tap.
- Be physically active
- Get lots of sleep
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet
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