1. What is Swine Flu (Swine Influenza)?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease affecting pigs that is caused by type A influenza virus. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to influenza outbreaks in humans. It causes high levels of illness but low death rates in pigs.
2. Does Swine Flu affect humans?
Swine Flu viruses that cause disease in pigs very rarely affect humans. However sporadic human infections with swine flue have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs but there have also been documented cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu.
3. How does Swine Flu spread to humans?
Swine flu spreads to humans mainly through contact with infected pigs, which shed the virus in their saliva, nasal secretion and faeces. Limited human-to-human transmission can also occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people.
4. Can people catch Swine Flu from eating pork?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that swine flu can be transmitted to humans from eating pork or pork products that have been throughly cooked. (Can EAT porkchop!!!)
5. What are the symptoms of Swine Flu in human?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza. An early symptom is high fever, and this is followed by cough, sore throat, runny nose, and sometimes breathlessness a few days later.
6.How can human infection with swine flu be diagnosed?
To diagnose swine flu, a respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first 4-5days of illness( when an infected person is most likely to be shedding the virus). However, some persons, especially children may shed the virus for 10days or longer.
7. What medication are available to treat swine flu infection in humans?
The are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in Singapore for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir. While most swine flu viruses have been susceptible to all four drugs, the most recent swine flu viruses isolated from human are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. At this time, the US CDC recommends the use of oseltamvir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine flu viruses.
8. What can I do to protect myself from the swine flu?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against the swine flu. However, you can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by:
- Covering your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the waste basket after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also helpful
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people. - If you get sick with influenza, stay at home and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Consult your nearest healthcare facility if you think you have any of the symptoms.
10. What precautions are in place in Malaysia?The Health Ministry’s operations room in Putrajaya has started a 24-hour monitoring of the situation. The public can call 03-8881 0200/300 for enquiries.
Those returning from Latin American countries and found to have flu-like symptoms will be quarantined.
Health Ministry officials are conducting health screenings on passengers arriving from the United States.
Thermal scanners will be placed at international airports to speed up the screening process for swine flu.
Public and private medical practitioners have been instructed to report to the district health office any patient with influenza-like illnesses or severe pneumonia symptoms and who had travelled to the affected countries after April 17.
Owners of the 797 pig farms nationwide have been ordered to immediately contact the nearest Veterinary Services Department office or the Animal Disease Control Centre if their workers or animals show symptoms linked to the swine flu.
* the above information is from a forwarded mail and dailymusle