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Swine Flu - What you Need to know

Swine Flu

As of 26th April 2009, 20 cases have been confirmed of people contracting respiratory illness Swine Influenza (Swine Flu) in the U.S. All the cases so far have been associated with the mild illness and have recovered.

The situation in Mexico is less clear but the media has reported 1324 cases of respiratory illness resulting in 81 deaths (at least 18 of these have been confirmed as Swine influenza A/H1N1, and more than half of those are genetically identical to the Swine influenza A/H1N1 viruses), there are suspected cases reported from New Zealand, Spain, France, and Israel - all involving travellers returning from Mexico.

What is it?
The Swine influenza A/H1N1 virus is associated with this outbreak appears to be a new virus derived from avian, human, and swine virus sources. So far it has been sensitive to the newer antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®).

Influenza is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. Close attention to personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette will help prevent catching and spreading influenza:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.

  • Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully Maintain good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people

  • If you travel to/from affected areas, you are advised to consult a doctor immediately if you develop flu-like symptoms
For more health information visit one of the following websites:
CDC (US) -
WHO - Swine Influenza -

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