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6 Facts You Should Know About Swine Flu

As a member of the Twitter community, I'm in awe of the wonderful friendships & networking aspects of social media. As a medical physician in this community, I also see that there is much misconception & misinformation about the swine flu and I sense fear in many. Because I was closely involved with medical care of patients when SARS hit South East Asia in 2003, I understand this fear particularly well. It is out of my concern that this article is written. My references are from theCenter for Disease Control & Prevention and World Health Organization.

At the time of writing, these highly regarded health authorities advise the following:-

1.  Common sense precautions only are required to protect you and your family from the swine flu. For example,   •  wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand cleaners, such as after you cough or sneeze.
  •  avoid close contact with sick people, if possible. Stay home if you are sick.

2.  There is no need to take Tamiflu as a precaution

3.  Go and see the doctor if you are not well

4.  There is no need to wear a mask if you have not been advised to do so by medical professionals or health authorities

5.  Eating pork is fine. Transmission of this disease is by air-borne vapors caused by coughing or sneezing. You won't get swine flu if you eat pork

6.  If you would like more information, I recommend you read about the swine flu at the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and the Whole Health Organization internet sites.

For those who would like more information about the swine flu:-

•  The common flu & the swine flu share similar symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, tiredness, backache. Some have also reported vomiting & diarrhoea.

•  Both are caused by a group of viruses called the influenza viruses. However, they are not borne by the same organisms, which means that your common flu vaccine will not work against the swine flu.

•  To keep this in perspective, this is a table which compares the common flu with the swine flu:-

  The Common Flu Swine Flu
Numbers of people affected About 53 Million people
(5-20% of US population per year)
40617 cases in the US
(as of July 10, 2009)
Numbers of people who die from flu-related causes 36,000 deaths 263 deaths in the US
(as of July 10, 2009)

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