Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, said this about the H1N1 virus “This virus has, clearly, a pandemic potential. It’s a completely novel virus” The new strain spreads quickly and efficiently from human to human. This particular variant is new and deadly mash-up of human virus, bird virus, and pig viruses. Scientists say it’s cause for concern because people are getting sick without any encounters with pigs. Young, healthy people are dying at a very unusual rate, a familiar sign of the deadliest flu epidemics.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Experts offer a a few suggestions:
Wash your hands often. Hand-washing with soap and water is the absolute best thing you can do if you’re going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings. The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands.
Keep your distance. In other words, stay away from other people if you’re sick or if you’re concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to work, but isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.
Symptoms of Swine Flu
Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu. Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you feel ill, seek medical attention. So far, it’s important to note, this swine flu is treatable and survivable. It’s resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu, Symmetrel and Flumadine.
On a positive note – two newer antivirals – Tamiflu and Relenza – appear to work well to combat the swine flu.