Sunday, August 9, 2009

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How to Stay Healthy During the Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic by Richard Ferri

The recent outbreak of swine-origin influenza Virus A (also termed H1N1), or more commonly known as "swine flu," has many people concerned about their health. These concerns are justified, but need to be placed into perspective to avoid a social panic that will not benefit anyone. Swine flu is a respiratory disease found in pigs caused by Type A flu virus. It is contagious the same way any other known influenza virus is transmitted, which includes person-to-person contact via coughing and sneezing. Swine flu cannot be transmitted by eating or handling pork, and properly cooked pork is safe to be consumed. Also, as with any influenza outbreak, people with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, poorly controlled diabetes and similar clinical conditions are likely more susceptible to acquiring swine flu if they come into contact with the virus. It is essential to remember that for anyone, regardless of their health status, the only way to get swine flu is by coming into contact with a person actively infected with a confirmed case of H1N1. In this article I will help you to understand how to prevent swine flu, review the symptoms of infection and examine prevention/treatment interventions that are effective and available.

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