Swine flu update fro#5d8705.doc
There have been cases of swine flu in California. All of those cases have been mild tomoderate and those infected have recovered. See information on cases in California andother states at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Swine flu (also known as swine influenza) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by typeA influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses donot normally infect people, but human infections with swine flu do occur. The Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that this swine flu virus iscontagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not knownhow easily the virus spreads between people.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human fluand include:
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu
In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have beenreported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause aworsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
How serious is swine flu infection?
Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with nodeaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious.
How do you catch swine flu?
Spread of swine flu can occur in two ways:
Through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine fluviruses.
Through contact with a person with swine flu. Human-to-human spread of swineflu has been documented also and is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal
flu. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing orsneezing of infected people.
Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for thetreatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviraldrugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu bykeeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs canmake your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent seriousflu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after gettingsick (within 2 days of symptoms).
How long can an infected person spread swine flu to others?
People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagiousas long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset.
Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
Types of Flu
Don't be confused by the different types of flu in the news.
- Seasonal Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
- Swine Flu - See our fact sheet.
- Avian Flu is deadly to domestic fowl. Very rarely it can be transmitted from birds tohumans.
- Pandemic Flu is flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness thatspreads easily from person to person. Currently there is no pandemic flu.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everydayactions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses likeinfluenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw thetissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from workor school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoidtouching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose,sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health careprovider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care providerwill determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people asmuch as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seekemergency medical care.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza fromeating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.
Health Emergency Information Line: 1-888-959-991
Content provided by the Public Health Division of Contra Costa Health Services.
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