The Randolph County Health Department would like to remind you that it is important to use preventative measures to stay healthy and avoid illness from Swine Flu. There are many things that can be done to prevent Swine Flu and keep it from spreading. It is important to remember to take care of yourself not only to keep yourself safe, but also protect your family and friends. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. Below are some tips to keep in mind in order to prevent the spread of Swine Flu.
- Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
If possible, stay at home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Wash your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
For health care workers or those who must be in close contact with the elderly or sickly people, a mask should be considered to prevent the spread of Swine Flu virus.
Swine Influenza: Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of swine flu happen regularly in pigs. Normally people do not get swine flu but human infections can and do happen. Most commonly human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs but it is possible for swine flu viruses to spread from person to person also.
In March early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (HIN1) viruses were first reported in Southern California and near San Antonio Texas, CDC and local and state health officials are working together to investigate this situation.
The CDC has determined that this virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
People are considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children especially younger children might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
Public Health Officials recommend the use of Oseltamivir or Zanamivir for the treatment and or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.
If you have recently traveled to areas currently reporting swine-flu cases, or have had direct contact with someone who has and believe you are becoming ill with influenza symptoms contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
Swine influenza viruses are NOT spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe to eat.
Randolph County Health Department has stepped up its Communicable Disease Surveillance efforts and will keep the community informed of any changes or occurrences of swine influenzas.