Novel H1N1 or Swine Flu FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What does H1N1 stand for?
It stands for Hemoagglutinine-1 and Neuroaminidase-1.
Where does H1N1 or Swine Flu Virus come from?
The Influenza A, subtype H1N1 or Swine Flu virus started circulating in 2009. It evolved from a virus that started as a flu that only pigs could get then it transformed to a strain that could also infrequently infect humans who were in very close contact with pigs, such as farmers who raised them.
H1N1 usually causes a mild to moderation influenza illness similar to seasonal flu. Majority of people infected have fully recovered from H1N1. The ones with high risk of complications are pregnant women, those with asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
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What are the H1N1 or Swine Flu symptoms?
Body temperature is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (above 38 degrees Celsius or Centigrade).
How can I avoid H1N1 flu?
Practice good personal hygiene: wash your hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
Exercise, drink plenty of fluids, eat a well balanced diet.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Receive H1N1 vaccination –
priority is given to high-risk groups including pregnant women, children less than
5 years old, adults aged 65 years or older, emergency medical services personnel,
nursing homes residents, health-care/day-care providers, and those with certain
Should I wear a facemask?
CDC only recommends facemasks for anyone at risk of serious illness who is traveling in crowded places or taking care of a sick person, and for anyone already infected who is going out in public.
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How can I prevent contracting or spreading the H1N1 Flu Virus?
Exercise good personal hygiene and avoid contact with others if you become ill. If you have the flulike symptoms, take acetaminophen (example Tylenol), get plenty of rest, and drink lots of liquid. Avoid school, work, and other social gatherings. Stay home until you’re well plus additional 24 hours rest. Seek medical attention if you experience complications like upper respiratory illness, chest pain, continuous high fever, or dehydration.
What is the Inclubation Period for H1N1 Flu Virus?
According to CDC, the estimated incubation period is unknown and could range from 1-7 days, and more likely 1-4 days. By the way, incubation period is the period between infection and clinical onset of the disease.
Is it safe to eat pork?
According to CDC, yes it is safe to eat pork because H1N1 swine flu virus has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating pork (pig meat). The virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F/70°C.
For more information including world map and H1N1 Swine Flu statistics by country, CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) are the authorities in this regard.
If you live in another country outside US, you should consult your official public health agency for guidance.