A Student’s Guide to the Swine Flu
What is the Swine Flu?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs that doesn’t normally impact humans. However, it is contagious and is currently spreading from human to human. This typically occurs the same way as seasonal flu; by coming in contact with infected people who are coughing or sneezing.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and inside:
- Sore Throat
- Body aches
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 and underlying chronic medical condition. Take this condition seriously, as swine flu varies from mild to severe. If you feel sick, see a doctor. You may need to limit your contact with others so you don’t infect them.
How does one prevent being exposed to, or spreading it?
- Not touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and then throwing that tissue out!)
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing or using alcohol based hand cleansers.
What are Emergency Warning Signs?
Seek emergency care if you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs: In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficult breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
For more information about the Swine Flu visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm and http://www.flu.gov/plan/school/higheredtoolkit.html