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Swine Flu (N1H1) Symptoms and How it Spreads

Jun 17, 2009
Swine flu symptoms are similar to symptoms of other flu viruses. These include fever, cough, headaches, chills, body aches, a sore throat and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported with this virus. It is important to remember that other conditions can cause these same symptoms. To determine for sure if you have swine flu versus another strain of flu or other condition, you will need to go to your doctor for a lab test. It is important to remember that flu is not a rare illness. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from a case of the flu each year.

Flu is similar to a cold virus in that it is typically spread from one person to another when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can pass through an infected person's lungs, throat or nose, sending particles into the air that can pass to anyone that person comes in close contact with. Being out in a crowd increases your chances of being infected.

The other main way the virus spreads is from touching surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose. An individual infected with the virus can start transmitting it up to a day before the symptoms start, and up to a week after the symptoms become noticeable, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is believed the new swine flu spreads in the same way as other types of flu.

For the sake of our own health and others, we all have a responsibility to prevent the spread of swine flu, or any other type of flu for that matter. These steps can help:

Covering your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough, so you trap the virus particles in the tissue rather than expelling them into the air. Then make sure you dispose of the tissue so it won't spread the virus on any other surface. And then wash your hands with soap and water. Or if you are not near a sink, use an alcohol based hand cleaner. Get in the habit of carrying these hand sanitizers with you, in the car, in your pocket or in your purse.

Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes. If you have touched any object contaminated with the virus, you may end up contaminating yourself. Your eyes, nose and mouth are the easiest pathways to infection by the flu virus.

If you're sick stay home from work and from other people. If your child becomes sick keep them home from school until their symptoms have subsided.
About the Author
Free report on Swine Flu Information What You Need To Know. Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books. She writes on how to lose weight fast and healthy dinner recipes.
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