As a concerned citizen, I can’t help but be alarmed over reports of more and more people getting infected with swine flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the warning level for swine flu to a phase five on a 1-6 scale, which means that the threat of a pandemic was imminent. As a result, all nations are now being urged to activate their pandemic preparedness plans. But what really is swine flu? What symptoms accompany this disease? Are we experiencing a new strain of swine flu? How can we prevent swine flu from spreading, and what treatments are available for us?
What is swine flu?
Like humans, pigs can get influenza (flu) too, but swine flu viruses are different from human flu viruses.
Does swine flu infect people?
Swine flu doesn’t often infect people, but there have been rare cases in the past where humans who had direct contact with pigs contracted swine flu.
Are we now experiencing a new strain of swine flu?
Yes. The current swine flu outbreak is different. It is caused by a new swine flu virus that has spread from person to person, and it’s affecting people who haven’t had any contact with pigs.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
Symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.
How can we prevent swine flu from spreading?
We can help prevent swine flu from spreading by staying home, covering our mouth and nose with a tissue when we cough or sneeze, throwing the tissue in the trash, and washing our hands.
How is swine flu treated?
Doctors may prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza if lab tests confirmed that a person has swine flu.