How to stop the swine flu

    how to stop the swine flu

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    Jul 24, †Ј CDC Recommendations for People Not at High Risk: DonТt take food or drink into pig areas; donТt eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in pig areas. DonТt take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into pig areas. Avoid close contact with pigs that look or act ill. Take. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of those already afflicted also have reported.

    Already, there are reports coming from schools across Florida that kids are being diagnosed with swine flu also known as the H1N1 virus. And in Georgia, Alaska and Puerto Rico, health officials say swine flu already is widespread. The good news is this: Although swine flu is highly contagious, the World Health Organization says it generally causes "very mild illness" in healthy people.

    If doctors sound like your mom, who keeps bugging you to wash your hands before you eat, there's a reason. Eighty percent of all infections are spread when you touch germs and then touch your mouth, eyes and nose. And the flu bug is a survivor. The swine-flu virus can survive on a desk or a doorknob for two to eight hours after it lands there, according to the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's why hand-washing Ч and disinfecting lunchroom tables, doorknobs and gym equipment Ч is so important.

    However, many kids are bound to get swine flu this year. So here's some advice from the CDC: If you think you're sick, stay home. The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of those already afflicted also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. But not so fast, kiddo! You're supposed to wash for 20 seconds Ч so sing the "Happy Birthday" song to yourself twice to make sure you've washed long enough.

    And don't just wash your palms. Rub soap on the backs of your hands, between how to setup cisco linksys e1000 fingers and underneath your fingernails. Antibacterial soap or plain soap?

    There's no need to use antibacterial soap Ч the water washes away the flu virus. If soap and water are not available, use hand-sanitizing gel. Pick a brand that contains at least 62percent how to stop the swine flu, said Tierno, the microbiologist.

    Most important: Wash hands or use hand sanitizer right before you eat lunch Ч because when you pick up your sandwich, you could spread germs from your hands to your food and then to your mouth. Cough or sneeze into a tissue Ч and then wash or sanitize your how to pass the grade 10 literacy test. If you don't have a tissue handy, sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm or your shoulder Ч so your germs don't spread through the air.

    Don't cough or sneeze into your hands! If you do, wash immediately. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. That's the fastest way to spread germs into your body. The danger from the water fountain isn't from what size tile trim do i need for 8mm tiles putting their mouths on the fountain Ч because the stream of water washes away germs.

    The most contaminated part of the fountain is the handle or button you push to turn it on, say experts. But to be safe during the swine- flu pandemic, it's probably best to send kids to school with their own water bottles.

    What about handrails, doorknobs or keyboards? It's not practical to ask kids not to touch any surfaces at school. Instead, experts recommend that kids carry their own container of hand sanitizer and use it how to stop the swine flu. It's important that children receive a flu shot or the inhaled flu mist for the seasonal flu, which is the flu that circulates every year.

    Those vaccinations are already available Ч either from your doctor's office or by going to mini-clinics at local pharmacies. That shot will keep your child from getting the seasonal flu, but it does not guard against swine flu. Because the H1N1 swine flu seems to be striking most often in people younger than 25, the CDC recommends that children and young people get the swine-flu vaccination when it becomes available.

    The CDC is currently estimating that the vaccine will be ready in mid-October. Are you at high risk for swine flu? Those with asthma, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease appear to be more susceptible to the swine flu Ч as are people who are obese. Because swine flu may cause secondary infections Ч such as pneumonia Ч people at high risk may want to get a pneumonia vaccine, too, Tierno said. If your child contracts swine flu, limit his contact with others.

    Don't let him lounge on the sofa in the living room where he's likely to be in close contact with other family members. Instead, keep the child in a separate room Ч preferably one with a bathroom.

    That way, you don't have to disinfect the bathroom several times a day. Your child should stay home at least seven days, even if he feels better sooner, to reduce chances of spreading the flu. Although disposable masks are popular in Asia, you're unlikely to see millions of Americans walking around with masks on their faces. However, if your child gets sick and you're the primary caregiver, the CDC recommends that you wear a respiratory mask to reduce the chances of getting sick.

    You can buy them at large pharmacies or medical-supply stores. When children leave the room and change classes, there's probably little time to wipe down desks with disinfectant. So use a spray disinfectant such as Lysol or Clorox disinfecting spray around the room, Tierno said. Choose a brand that has been shown to kill the flu virus. When cleaning desks and lunchroom tables, skip the soap and water Ч because you won't use enough water to wash away the germs.

    Instead, use a disinfectant or alcohol-based wipes. Also, wipe down or spray doorknobs, keyboards and other frequently touched items in your classrooms, using disinfectants. Gym equipment should also be sanitized frequently. Most important: If you suspect a child is sick, send him or her to the school nurse or the office immediately. Skip to content. Join the crowd. But there are ways to prevent the flu from spreading, mainly by washing your hands.

    Wash hands. Hand Sanitizer Coughing and sneezing etiquette. Don't touch! Water-fountain phobia? Flu-shot primer. Risky business. Memo to parents. To mask or not to mask? Tips for teachers.

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    Influenza is the only respiratory virus preventable by vaccination. Wash hands by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Cover Your Mouth and Nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Don't Touch Your Face with unwashed hands; itТs the easiest way for germs to enter your body. Smiling and laughing can help boost your immune system. Aug 19, †Ј Like influenza viruses in humans and other animals, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and. Sep 29, †Ј The first choice for preventing the flu is a flu shot. If you are sick, try to rest in bed and drink plenty of fluids, like juice and water but not alcohol. Medicine such as acetaminophen can bring down your fever, which might help with the aches and pains. It is important not to smoke if .

    In , the world was forced to confront a novel virus that commonly became known as the swine flu across the globe. This new H1N1 virus was a massive healthcare challenge that the world had to deal with, especially considering the fact that this virus strain had not been seen previously in animals and people.

    According to the World Health Organization WHO , experts observed that antibodies that were equipped to tackle the seasonal H1N1 virus failed to protect people against the new virus, and the only people who seemed to have some kind of immunity against the virus were those who were over the age of The virus was officially identified as a pandemic by WHO in June It is now believed that a majority of the countries in the world did confirm that they witnessed infections from swine flu.

    What was worrying was that the new virus claimed lives of those who otherwise seemed healthy. Younger patients fell victim to the virus, and those with chronic conditions, children, and pregnant women were thought to be susceptible to the virus. As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic in , here's a trip down memory lane to look at a pandemic that previously took most of the world by surprise, the key events that shaped its rise and fall, the public healthcare response, the post-pandemic period, and more.

    The swine flu virus was controversial as far as its name was concerned. As explained by Reuters in April , WHO later succumbed to pressure from the meat industry to start referring to the virus as influenza A H1N1 instead of labeling it swine flu.

    At that point, the virus was said to have targeted over people. Basically, the term swine flu was misleading and alarmist because the virus strain was known to affect only humans and not animals.

    It also could not be caught by eating pork Ч something that was widely misunderstood by those who weren't sure about the specifics. A statement from WHO read, "There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products.

    Things got messy before they improved. Consider this: At one point, Thailand, believed to be one of the most important meat producers in the world, started calling the disease "Mexican flu," referring to its origins via The New York Times.

    Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack publicly stated that it made sense to call the virus by its official, scientific name. The H1N1 virus was believed to be an eclectic mix: genes from a seasonal human flu virus coupled with a North American bird virus and a virus that was found in pigs via NPR.

    The problem with the virus was that while it wasn't thought to be more dangerous than other flu viruses, it was said to be able to affect a lot more people on account of low immunity, especially when compared with seasonal flu that wouldn't have such a widespread impact. In general, swine influenza has been linked to a type of flu that often affects pigs and makes them sick. Additionally, it has not been known to have high fatality rates.

    Plus, swine influenza viruses often mutate via Nieman Foundation. Pigs, as it turns out, can be infected by human influenza, as well as avian viruses. Pigs can also cause new influenza types if they have two or more influenza viruses, which is what happened with the swine flu. Importantly, a few types of influenza viruses have been identified in pigs for years, including H1N1.

    As far as the virus was concerned, it was made clear that while it did originate in pigs, it was spread through humans. Thus, swine-to-human transmission wasn't responsible for its spread. As per experts, the swine flu first began sometime in , but cases were first officially spotted in It's possible that the virus was spreading in Mexico in but was misdiagnosed as the regular flu.

    In April , the virus and its spread became glaringly obvious in Mexico as it led to unprecedented deaths and also caused panic on account of the fact that it was likely to become a pandemic. According to the Guardian , locals in Mexico were told to avoid shaking hands, kissing, or otherwise being in close contact with others as fears spread over the virus strain.

    The country decided to shut down local spots, such as theaters, shops, and museums. Spectators were barred from attending sports events, and schools were being disinfected as healthcare workers told those who looked sick to go home and avoid being out in public.

    Margaret Chan, issued a statement back then, commenting on the new virus strain. Chan had also explained that while WHO had not gone ahead with a worldwide alert on the virus, it was "on the table. Arnold Monto, said, "We've seen swine influenza in humans over the past several years, and in most cases, it's come from direct pig contact.

    This seems to be different. Just like the regular flu, swine flu can be passed through respiratory droplets, and it isn't possible to catch it by consuming pork. As illustrated by The Conversation , the virus was the first pandemic to have hit the world in 41 years.

    Alarmingly, it spread much faster than expected and was found in every continent in a few weeks after it was first identified. The virus seemed to affect people of disparate groups differently. The basics first: Those who were older had some sort of immunity against the virus, while kids were highly vulnerable and severely affected by it.

    Asymptomatic carriers made it harder for experts to detect cases. Most alarmingly, the virus demonstrated that it could spread quickly, especially when factors such as international travel are taken into consideration. All it takes is 24 hours for the virus to make a trip around the globe and spread further through airplanes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , pregnant women were at greater risk and could potentially get much sicker than others with the H1N1.

    Pregnant women who've gotten ill with swine flu have had documented cases of pneumonia and early labor. There were also fatalities. Another high-risk group included kids and those with compromised immune systems and pre-existing medical conditions. As per CNN , in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, more than schools in the U. Swine flu's symptoms were not too different from the regular flu. According to PBS , some of the most prominent symptoms included fever, coughing, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, and chills.

    Additionally, the severity of symptoms differed in individuals. For example, some patients developed a fever, while others only had headaches. And, still others had a stuffy nose while some may have had additional symptoms such as a sore throat and fatigue.

    As far as more severe symptoms were concerned, some of the signs in children included having trouble breathing normally, dehydration, fever accompanied by a rash, irritability, and more. Meanwhile, adults with more serious symptoms would also struggle to breathe and experience discomfort or pain in their chest or stomach.

    They could also experience bouts of confusion and dizziness along with repeated nausea and vomiting. If a patient displayed these symptoms coupled with other flu-like symptoms, they were advised to get medical help on an urgent basis.

    In July , treatment options for swine flu suffered a serious setback when experts discovered that the antiviral drug Tamiflu was unable to tackle the virus. According to the New Scientist , vaccination efforts were amped up as governments got involved in amplifying pandemic vaccination efforts. Experts also figured out that the H1N1 virus went into the lungs much deeper than the ordinary flu, which is why it sometimes killed patients.

    By August, experts and epidemiologists were concerned enough to secure large supplies of antiviral drugs for their loved ones. The next month, in September, big vaccine manufacturers revealed that their swine flu vaccines could be administered to patients and would be effective with one shot.

    This was a positive development because supplying huge batches of the vaccination was a major challenge at that point. By October, vaccination efforts were rolled out, but people were worried about the vaccine and whether it was safe. Production hiccups and delays were also a huge obstacle that had to be dealt with. While the pandemic H1N1 virus was serious and something that the world had not witnessed in years, it wasn't as dangerous or lethal as the Spanish flu pandemic. The total number of deaths were estimated to be around 12,, while hospitalizations were estimated to be approximately , Across the world, around , to , fatalities were attributed to the swine flu.

    Again, it's worth noting that swine flu was believed to affect kids, young, and middle-aged patients the most, while the elderly weren't as badly impacted. Anthony Fauci , director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated in an interview with the Journal of American Medical Association that even though this strain of H1N1 spread rather quickly, it wasn't as lethal or dangerous as some of its counterparts.

    Because the vaccination options were in short supply, vulnerable groups and those at risk from experiencing serious symptoms from the H1N1 virus were vaccinated first. As per ABC News , pregnant women and younger patients were given priority. Elderly people weren't given high-priority on account of the fact that they displayed some kind of immunity against the novel virus. Officials from the CDC had to carry out the tough task of figuring out which groups should be given access to the vaccine against swine flu first.

    Other groups that were prioritized included healthcare workers, children and teenagers between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old, and those who were less than years-old with health conditions that could put them at risk. A study in the medical journal Lancet highlighted the fact that pregnant women who were otherwise healthy died after contracting swine flu. The author of the study, Dr. Denise Jamieson, said, "If a pregnant woman suspects she has influenza, has influenza-like symptoms, the first thing she needs to do is call her health care provider and find out what she needs to do.

    Public response to the seriousness of the pandemic was swift. After the cases were discovered, health officials in the U. Meanwhile, in Europe, people were advised to avoid non-essential travel to the majorly affected zones, such as Mexico and the U. As per the Guardian , the European Union's health commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, asked citizens to stay away from unnecessary travel where cases seemed to be increasing at the beginning of the outbreak, especially in Mexico where things were brought to a halt as locals dealt with the novel virus.

    Vassiliou said, "Personally, I'd try to avoid non-essential travel to the areas which are reported to be in the centre of the cluster in order to minimise the personal risk and to reduce the potential risk to spread the infection to other people. In August , the WHO said that the pandemic was reaching its conclusion. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course" via Science Mag.

    Basically, as per Chan, the virus was still present but had become like other flu strains and wasn't going to be the reason for vast outbreaks anymore. When Chan was asked how she felt about the virus and everything that had happened, she said that she was happy about the fact that it had ended but was also tired.

    She reckoned that it was important for countries to stay vigilant and continue looking out for unusual signs of the virus. In a nutshell, the pandemic persisted for about 16 months, as per the Conversation. Until August , the WHO estimated that the swine flu caused 18, deaths in countries.

    The total number of cases was believed to be 6,, The swine flu outbreak was not without its share of controversies. Certain groups were accused of using the pandemic to sell vaccines, which escalated the situation further.

    Danielle Ofri told CNN in that the outbreak caused widespread anxiety and concern among patients who didn't know what to expect. Yet for our patients, it seemed so different, so unusual, so scary Ч that the emotions took off well out of proportion of the disease," she said. Certain public health organizations and individuals received backlash because it was believed that they were unnecessarily alarmist about the pandemic. Back then, former Vice President Joe Biden was criticized for telling members of the public to err on the side of caution and possibly contributed to panic ABC News.


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