The Facts on Swine Flu
Mayor's Office press release - http://www.sfgov.org/site/mayor_index.asp?id=103411
Residents should monitor news reports and check http://www.sfcdcp.org/swineflu.html for continuous updates or call 311 for information on swine flu.
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, 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 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. (Note: Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food or consuming pork). The CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.
- PROTECTING YOURSELF:
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against 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.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home and limit contact with others.
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 CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral 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, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you 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).
For More Information on Swine Flu, please visit
- SF Dept. of Health - http://www.sfcdcp.org/swineflu.html
- U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
* Main info page - http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/
* Swine Influenza and You (CDC) - http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm
* Key Facts - http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/key_facts.htm