What is swine influenze?
Swine Influenza [swine flu] is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenze that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Cases of human to human spread of the swine flu have been documented.
How does swine flu influenza Spread?
It is currently not known how this virus spreads among humans however at this time it appears to be contagious to humans.
Coughing and sneezing can release germs into the air where they are breathed in by other people.
Germs also can rest on hand surfaces like counters and doorknobs. They can be picked up and transmitted to the respiratory system when someone touches their mouth and/or nose.
Should i wear a mask?
According to the public health agency of canada they don't recommend the public to wear any surgical masks to protect against H1N1. Evidence shows these are not effective in preventing the spread of the influenze in the general public. People often wear masks incorrectly or contaminate them when putting them on and taking them off, which could increase the risk and likelyhood of illness to occur.
If i have swine influenza, can i spread the infection to others?
Yes. to avoid spreading disease:
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
- Do not share drinking glasses or eating utensils
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow
- Stay home when you are sick
Can you get human swine flu from eating pork?
No. Proper cooking of pork products would kill any viruses.
Symptoms of swine influenza [H1N1]
- Lack of appetite
- Sore throat
- Vomiting and diarrhea [in some cases]
- Body aches/headache
What is the treatment?
Because swine influenza is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not effective. Antiviral medications can sometimes help lessen influenza symptoms, but require a prescription.
What should i do if i have diagnosed with swine influenza?
You should stay home from work, school, public places and other social settings. Avoid close contact with other people for seven days after your symptoms started. This is the time when the illness can be spread to others.
Toll free number for information to Nova Scotians about swine flu influenza [H1N1] has been established. The hours of operation run from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm daily.