Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | April 27, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says Swine Flu requires vigilance, common sense, and awareness on part of community.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three 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, headache, 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.

 

If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).  Here is what the government is currently recommending related to swine flu:

 

1.            Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.  Persons who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) should be strongly encouraged to self-isolate in their home for 7 days after the onset of illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer. Persons who experience ILI and wish to seek medical care should contact their health care providers to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital.  Persons who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention.

 

2.            If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.  If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work or school if ill.

 

3.            Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.  Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.  Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

 

4.            If ill persons must go into the community (e.g., to seek medical care) they should wear a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the community when they cough, sneeze, talk or breathe.  If a face mask is unavailable, ill persons needing to go into the community should use a handkerchief or tissues to cover any coughing.

 

5.            Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand cleaner. When you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — do so for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

 

6.            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. Some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent hand washing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

 

7.            Persons in home isolation and their household members should be given infection control instructions: including frequent hand washing with soap and water.  Use alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.  When the ill person is within 6 feet of others at home, the ill person should wear a face mask if one is available and the ill person is able to tolerate wearing it. 

8.            Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

 

9.            Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: