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Swine flu fact sheet _2_
LORAIN COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT
ELYRIA, OHIO 44035
Swine Influenza (swine flu)
is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of
swine flu happen regularly in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do
happen. Most commonly, human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs, but it’s possible for
swine flu viruses to spread from person to person also.
What are the symptoms of Swine Flu?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include:
fever (102-103 degrees F) cough sore throat body aches headache chills
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions. The incubation period (time from exposure to onset of symptoms) is 2-4 days. Most people are contagious for about 7 days, however some persons, especially children, can shed the virus for 10 days or longer.
How can you become infected with Swine Flu?
Through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses.
Through contact with a person with swine flu. The spread of swine flu is thought to spread the same way as
seasonal flu. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
How can you prevent Swine Flu?
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
Cover your nose
and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after
Wash your hands
often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand
Try to avoid close contact
with sick people. If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you
stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
How can you be treated for Swine Flu?
CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or
prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Anti-viral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an
inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, anti-viral drugs can
make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment,
anti-viral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/general_info.htm
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