Swine Flu: Questions and Answers

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

What are the symptoms of swine flu? How do I know if I have it?

The World Health Organization is working to develop a profile of the "typical case" of swine flu, but thus far, the symptoms appear to be essentially the same as those for the usual winter flu. Hallmark symptoms of flu include high fever, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue. People may also experience coughing and a runny nose, or less commonly, vomiting and diarrhea.

The only way to definitively diagnose swine flu is to have laboratory testing done to determine the exact subtype of the virus.

Can the swine flu be treated? What if I develop symptoms?

Yes, the swine flu can be treated with antiviral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza, but treatment must be started within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear. If you have symptoms of flu, talk to your health care provider right away.

Sources: the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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