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How much do you know about the swine flu?

IMPORTANT INFO:

* What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human
seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The typical symptoms are:

  • a sudden fever (a high body temperature of 38°C/100.4°F or above), and
  • a sudden cough.

Other symptoms may include:

  • headache,
  • tiredness,
  • chills,
  • aching muscles,
  • limb or joint pain,
  • diarrhoea or stomach upset,
  • sore throat,
  • runny nose,
  • sneezing, or
  • loss of appetite.

* How does swine flu spread?
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.

* High-risk groups

For most people, swine flu is a mild illness. Some people get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter flu medication.

However, some groups of people are more at risk of serious illness if they catch swine flu, and will need to start taking antiviral medication as it is confirmed that they have it.

It is already known that you are particularly at risk if you have:

  • chronic (long-term) lung disease,
  • chronic heart disease,
  • chronic kidney disease,
  • chronic liver disease,
  • chronic neurological disease (neurological disorders include motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease),
  • immunosuppression (whether caused by disease or treatment) or
  • diabetes mellitus.

Also at risk are:

  • patients who have had drug treatment for asthma within the past three years,
  • pregnant women,
  • people aged 65 and older, and
  • young children under five.

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