Here is some information about swine flu taken from an Associated Press article from Geneva.
World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan says the global body is taking the outbreak very seriously. Fatal cases have been reported in Mexico while cases in the United States, so far, have been reported as non-fatal. I have given this information to use as informative background on swine flu. Please do not think I am an expert in disease control or in any other related medical occupation. If you want complete information, please read more about swine flu on the Internet or contact local health departments and/or institutions. Maybe the following text will help a concerned public.
Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease normally found in pigs. It spreads through tiny particles in the air or by direct contact. It tends to infect large numbers of a given pig population, killing between 1 and 4 percent of those affected. Not every animal infected displays symptoms.
People usually become infected through contact with pigs, though some cases of limited human-to-human transmission have been reported.
The World Health Organization says properly handled and prepared pork products are safe to eat. Reportedly, the swine flu virus dies when cooked at temperatures of 160 F/70 C or higher.
Pigs in North America are routinely vaccinated for swine flu, but no vaccine exists for humans. In any case, the flu virus evolves quickly, meaning that vaccines are soon obsolete.
"Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose." (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention,
The swine flu virus detected in Mexico and the United States appears to respond to treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). In terms of prevention, maintaining good hygiene, for example regular hand-washing and staying a safe distance from those infected, may help.
(As of April 27, 2009 1:00 PM ET)
State # of laboratory confirmed cases
California 7 cases Kansas 2 cases New York City 28 cases Ohio 1 case Texas 2 cases TOTAL COUNT 40 cases
I always believe that it is better to err on the safe side. Thankfully, public attention has been drawn to the swine flu outbreak. Through reliable information, people can hopefully avoid potential problems with this serious flu and take better care of their loved ones. If others believe they may be infected already, I urge them to take quick action. I think one must heighten the awareness of such an outbreak with a degree of caution so as not to spread needless fear.
Information is available for anyone concerned. If people believe, for any reason, they have had symptoms of the flu or contact with the flu, I encourage them to seek proper medical attention. Most of us will open our eyes a little wider to potential dangers, and, hopefully, this outbreak will soon disappear. Please, use the blog entry only as a starting point for any further investigation. As frightening as any health threat becomes, knowledge and prompt treatment may be our best weapons.