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How worried are you about the SWINE FLU? The bottom-line you need to know about swine flu. WASHINGTON – A never-before-seen flu strain — a mix of pig, human and bird viruses — has turned killer in Mexico and is causing milder illness in the United States and elsewhere. While authorities say it's not time to panic, they are taking steps to stem the spread and urging people to pay close attention to the latest health warnings. Here's what you need to know:

Q: How do I protect myself and my family?
A: For now, take commonsense precautions. Cover your coughs and sneezes, with a tissue that you throw away or by sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand. Wash hands frequently; if soap and water aren't available, hand gels can substitute. Stay home if you're sick and keep children home from school if they are.
Q: How easy is it to catch this virus?
A: Scientists don't yet know if it takes fairly close or prolonged contact with someone who's sick, or if it's more easily spread. But in general, flu viruses spread through uncovered coughs and sneezes or — and this is important — by touching your mouth or nose with unwashed hands. Flu viruses can live on surfaces for several hours, like a doorknob just touched by someone who sneezed into his hand.
Q: Is it treatable?
A: Yes, with the flu drugs Tamiflu or Relenza, but not with two older flu medications. below.

Answer Question

Asked by LimoMOM5 at 1:39 PM on Apr. 27, 2009 in Health

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Q: Why are people dying in Mexico and not here?
    A: That's a huge mystery. First, understand that no one really knows just how many people in Mexico are dying of this flu strain, or how many have it. Only a fraction of the suspected deaths have been tested and confirmed as swine flu, and some initially suspected cases were caused by something else.
    Q: What are the symptoms?
    A: They're similar to regular human flu — a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.
    Q: How do I know if I should see a doctor?
    A: Health authorities say if you live in places where swine flu cases have been confirmed, or you recently traveled to Mexico, and you have those symptoms, your doctor can decide whether you need treatment or to be tested.

    Answer by LimoMOM5 at 1:40 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • Q: Did last winter's flu shot protect me?
    A: Probably not. Even though it did protect against the Type A family of flu viruses that this new swine flu belongs to, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ran some preliminary tests and doesn't think it offered any cross protection.
    Q: Why are people calling it swine flu if it's not just from pigs? Did it really come from pigs?
    A: Pigs do spread their own strains of influenza and every so often people catch one, usually after contact with the animals. This new virus is a mix of human, pig and bird viruses but the name, for ease, was shortened to swine flu — and unlike typical swine flu, it is spreading person-to-person.
    Q: So is it safe to eat pork?
    A: Yes. Swine influenza viruses don't spread through food.

    So after knowing all the facts, on a scale of 1-10 how worried are you?????

    Answer by LimoMOM5 at 1:41 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • wow you really went into that, not saying it's a bad thing. I knew most of the facts before but learned a few new ones from this. on a scale from 1-10 i am only about a 4 or 5 because there haven't been any cases where i live but i do live close to the border so that makes me wonder how long it's going to be before it shows up in AZ. when they start saying it's getting worse and more people are affected by it then i might be more worried but not right now. Thanks for the info.

    Answer by jnsdrf at 1:49 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • I am very worried.
    If the swine flu does not spread through pork why are different countries banning the import of pork products?
    Some of this information doesn't seem correct.
    Also, we don't have enough Tamiflu or Relenza to protect the populace.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:52 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • i'm very worry.. gosh that terrible  i have 5 kids



    Answer by rubipresiosa at 1:53 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • I was worried enough to look up if you can get it from eating pork before i went to the store this morning but that's about it.

    Answer by trying2survive at 2:25 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • im kinda worried im living i mexico right now the radio guys says that it hasnt reached our stae but theyare taking precausins and i think people have died here because alot of people dont have money to go to the doctor and some dont take meds because if its a cold it should leave by its self i dont take meds when im sick but now i know if i get sick to watch out for signs

    Answer by chukuku at 2:29 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • I wouldn't say worried, but I would say alert. I am now trying to cough into my arm. I'll pay attention to sore throat and fever and aches. I'll consider whether I really need to go someplace that has a lot of people inside. I have been washing my hands whenever I arrive home, and I'll be even more careful about doing this. I am also reviewing handwashing techniques with my students.

    Answer by Bmat at 3:01 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

  • I don't believe the media and what other people say about calming down.

    How many times have people or the media say things will be ok? 1, 2, 3 times? Look what happened to the Chicken scare, the spinach scare, the peanut butter scare. The economy and financial crisis scare? It all happened. We were told early enough.

    So, call me negative. I know what I stated above are different circumstances, but that's not the point.

    And look how many people died in Mexico. Just ONE death is too many. And our Health Care System here isn't all the great either.

    I bought my masks, lysol and hand sanitizer. I"m buying more tomorrow morning EARLY, so they don't get sold out again.

    Answer by BingsMommy at 11:02 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

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