Hah information sheets
Swine Influenza – H1N1 Virus
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently been in a known
affected area, stay at home and limit contact with other people.
What is swine flu?
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.
Is this swine flu virus contagious?
Swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to
human. However, at this time, it not known how easily the virus spreads
What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of common
human flu. Symptoms of swine flu in people and include:
Some people have reported diarrhoea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in
the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from
person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza.
People may also become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it
How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before
symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means
that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you
are sick, as well as while you are sick. There has also been some reports of
dogs and cats catching this virus; if your pet shows signs of coughing and or
sneezing seek a vets advice and encourage plenty of fluids.
What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
Try to stay in good health * avoid contact with others you know are
Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. Tamiflu is used 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. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick
This advice sheet is for information only and in no way is meant as a
substitute for medical advice If you suspect you have a flu like virus, seek
medical advice as soon as possible especially if you have other health
problems or are over the age of 65years.
Prepared by Clinical Lead Lynda Christopher BSc Hons NP, RGN, RSCN, Dip
Ch , SP. On behalf of HAH. January 2011-01-24
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