SWINE FLU VIRUS... DO and DON'Ts...!
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Swine Flu?
Swine flu is contagious and capable of spreading from person to person. The incubation period seems to be approximately 12 hours to 24 hours before symptoms appear. Like any flu, the symptoms can range from mild to severe, and include:
Fever (100.5 degrees F or higher)
Body aches (muscle aches)
Diarrhea & Vomiting
When diarrhea and vomiting are present see your doctor immediately as severe cases have progressed to pneumonia, respiratory failure and deaths.
How is it Diagnosed?
A respiratory specimen must be collected within the first four to five days of illness, when the infected person is most likely to be shedding the virus. However, some patients (such as children), may shed the virus for 10 days or longer, according to the CDC. Specimens must be sent to the CDC for laboratory testing in order to identify swine flu.
How Can You Catch Swine Flu?
Typically swine flu is spread through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses. However, human-to-human spread has also been documented, which means you can catch it through others’ coughing or sneezing but most likely by directly touching an infected person or by indirectly touching something they touched recently that left the flu viruses on it and then touching or rubbing your eyes, mouth or nose (or possibly even your ears).
You cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products, as the virus isn’t transmitted in food.
People with swine flu remain potentially contagious while symptoms are present and for up to seven days following the illness, although children can be contagious for even longer.
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Washing your hands with soap and water often.
Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throwing away the tissue.
Surgical masks, which many people in Mexico are now wearing, can add a level of protection as you have likely seen on the news.
Reducing, where possible, being in contact with masses of people in public places.
Avoiding close contact with sick people.
If feeling sick with what are above symptoms then go immediately to your doctor, clinic or hospital. Stay home from work or school, and limit close contact with others and wear a surgical mask especially in public places, as you don’t want to pass along the flu if you do get sick.
Further, to most effectively keep contagions from making your family sick, a three-pronged approach works best.