Aug 30, 2009

Swine Flu

Five Health Tips to Avoid Swine Flu

"Swine flu" or the "H1N1" flu virus (a more technical name for the same virus) is a public health emergency that the government is keeping a close watch on so that people are aware, informed and prepared to take action steps to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe.
Any flu virus is particularly life-threatening to the very young, elderly and those battling disease, infection, etc.. It's important that we keep this virus in check.
• Tip #1: Stay home if you're sick.
• Tip #2: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Tip #3: Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Tip #4: Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Tip #5: Keep up with health information in your own community.
Do these tips sound familiar? Flu-safety basics are the exact same whether you get the human flu or the swine flu. The swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. People don’t usually get swine flu but infections can and do occur.
This virus spreads the exact same way that regular flu viruses spread -- person-to-person transmission through coughing, sneezing and touching of infected people or surfaces: door knobs, shopping carts, countertops, etc. So, it’s also a good idea to carry your alcohol-based, disinfecting wipes, sprays and gels with you, as well.
There is some good news: First, there are antiviral medicines to prevent and treat swine flu. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Second, swine influenza viruses are not spread by food.
Now, if you live in areas where swine influenza have been identified, contact a health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Swine flu symptoms include: fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
By practicing these flu-safety basics, you’ll lower your chances of getting a host of illnesses, including the swine flu.