New cases of swine flu in humans have been recorded in California, Kansas, New York City, Ohio, and Texas — none have resulted in death. There have been more than a thousand suspected cases in Mexico, thought to have caused 149 deaths.
While not yet considered a full-blown pandemic, there is rising concern, and rightly so, among the general population. This is no time to panic, but it is time to make sure we have the straight facts from reliable sources.
For accurate up-to-date news and information, you can visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
The CDC has “activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the agency’s response to this emerging health threat and yesterday the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, declared a public health emergency in the United States. This will allow funds to be released to support the public health response. CDC’s goals during this public health emergency are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to assist health care providers, public health officials and the public in addressing the challenges posed by this newly identified influenza virus.”
A few important facts to keep in mind:
* Consuming thoroughly cooked pork (160 degrees) is safe.
* Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
* Germs spread through touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
* Diagnosis is made from a respiratory specimen collected within the first 4 to 5 days of illness.
* There are four different antiviral drugs licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir, and zanamivir.
Recommendations from the CDC:
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* Stay home if you are sick.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
* Wash your hands often.
Check out the What’s New on the Swine Flu Site page and sign up for updates via e-mail, Twitter, or RSS Feed. Make sure you have the facts.