Swine Flu Not For You-Then Please Read On
Swine flu is common in swine and rare in humans. As of 10/31/11, the CDC reports 28 cases since 2005 in the United States.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/index.htm Due to the concern last year, vaccines were produced and appear to have been effective in reducing the cases as well as alleviating that concern for the most part.
People who work with swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine influenza if the swine carry a strain able to infect humans. As you probably heard, there was an outbreak in Mexico of Swine flu and then a few cases starting to appear in the United States. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza or your common flu, which are generally:
- sore throat
- muscle pains
- severe headache
- general discomfort.
- Some reports that some experience diarrhea and vomiting as well.
The strain in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medicines. Because the symptoms are not specific to swine flu, doctors are making the diagnosis of swine flu if there is also a high likelihood of exposure to another with swine flu or who were in one of the states that have reported swine flu cases during the 7 days preceding their illness onset. A diagnosis to confirm swine flu requires laboratory testing of a respiratory sample (a simple nose or throat swab).
Influenza spreads between humans through:
- people touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.
Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of illness, although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.
Recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus among humans are the same as the common flu. This includes frequent hand washing with soap and water or with hand sanitizer gels, especially after being out in public.
- Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, a surprisingly effective way to prevent all sorts of diseases, including ordinary influenza and the new swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows little particles of virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or other gel type hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.
- Social distancing is another tactic. It means staying away from other people who might be infected and can include avoiding large gatherings, spreading out a little at work, or perhaps staying home and lying low if an infection is spreading in a community.
- Another strong defense against the flu and other germs that may come your way is to have a strong immune system.
A strong immune systemcomes from:
- Healthy nutritious diet on a consistent basis
- Plenty of water
- Adequate rest
- Adequate sleep
- Adequate exercise or activity
- Ability to cope with stress appropriately
- Having an overall balance in your life.
- High quality supplements that support the above.
Sometimes the bug still finds you, in which case, you can take a “Best Defense” right away and maybe two or three that first day, which often stops the bug cold. It gives you an overall boost to empower your immune system to defeat the bug before it takes hold.
If despite all your efforts, the flu still gets you and you want further treatment, the CDC recommends the use of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) or Relenza (Zanamivir) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine and regular influenza viruses, however, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drug. The virus isolates that have been tested from the US and Mexico are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine.
If a person gets sick, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
In summary, remember to be vigilant in washing your hands and keeping them away from your face as no one wants the swine flu or any other flu.