Swine influenza (also swine flu) refers to influenza caused by any virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae, that is endemic to pig (swine) populations. Strains endemic in swine are called swine influenza virus (SIV), and all known strains of SIV are classified as Influenzavirus A (common) or Influenzavirus C (rare).Influenzavirus B has not been reported in swine. All three clades, Influenzavirus A, B, and C, are endemic in humans.
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of infection from these animals if the animals carry a strain that is also able to infect humans. SIV can mutate into a form that allows it to pass from human to human. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak is believed to have undergone this mutation.
In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general.
The Swine Flu epidemic has reached the United States. This new mutated strand of influenza starts as a normal flu, then turns people into pigs.
As of April 27, 2009, the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection.
Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova raised the probable death toll from the new multi-strain swine flu in Mexico to 81, including 20 already confirmed.
Eight New York City school children have been infected. The first symptoms were noticed when the children ate their lunch by diving face first into their plates. This tipped off school officials who reported the children to the CDC.
Precautions against Swine flu:
1.This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers
2.Avoid touching mouth, nose or eyes with their hands unless they’ve washed their hands.
3.If One wish to cough, they should either cough into a tissue and throw it in the garbage immediately, cough into their elbow.
4.Vaccines that are effective against the current strain are being developed.
5.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in a wastebasket.
6.Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.)
7.If you are ill with fever and other symptoms of swine flu such as cough and sore throat, see a doctor, especially if you think you may have had contact with someone with swine flu or severe respiratory illness in the past 7 days before becoming ill.
8.Try to limit contact with others as much as possible. By limiting your contact with other people, you can help prevent the spread of swine flu.
9.Avoid leaving your home while sick except to get local medical care, or as instructed by your doctor. Do not go to work or school while you are ill. If you must leave your home (for example, to seek medical care) wear a surgical mask to keep from spreading your illness to others.
10.Wear a surgical mask if you are in contact with other people
At this time, CDC recommends that U.S. travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. Changes to this recommendation will be posted at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/