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Swine Flu - Pandemic

The international media has been giving a lot of coverage to the recent outbreak of swine influenza or swine flu.

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For those feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information about this flu, here are the basics.

  • Swine flu is a respiratory disease, caused by influenza type A which infects pigs. The latest form is a new version of the H1N1 strain and has the ability to infect humans.
  • So far, most cases of swine flu around the world appear to be mild. But lives have been lost in Mexico, and a single death - of a child - has been confirmed in the US.
  • Experts say the situation is potentially serious but it is still too early to accurately assess the likelihood of a global pandemic.
  • Tamiflu and Relenza, seem to be effective at treating cases that have occurred there so far. However, the drugs must be administered at an early stage to be effective.
  • Anyone with flu-like symptoms who might have been in contact with the swine virus - such as those living or traveling in the areas of Mexico that have been affected - should seek medical advice.
  • Good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, covering nose when sneezing advised

Further information and advice on swine flu can be found on the following sites

Some of the common symptoms of influenza include high fever, headache, tiredness that can be extreme, cough, sore throat, body aches . Colds and flu are often confused. Find out how to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu.

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