Routine Hygiene Can Limit Exposure to Swine Flu Virus

April 27, 2009 · Filed Under Events and News 

Human cases of swine influenza virus infection have been identified in the United States, and several cases have been reported in Texas.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type-A influenza viruses. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.

Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person to person, but in the past, this transmission was limited. The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever higher than 100 degrees, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the current infection and whether additional people have been infected with swine influenza viruses.

The federal Centers for Disease Control, based in Atlanta, is working with officials in states where human cases of swine flu have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate this investigation.

What You Can Do To Stay Healthy

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person to person through coughing or sneezing.

There are everyday actions you can take to stay healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. You may want to contact your health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

To learn more, visit the Tarrant County Public Health Web site or select the “Hot Topics” option by phone at 817-321-4700. More information also is available through the CDC Web site.


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