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Swine Flu Outbreak Declared A Pandemic and H1N1 FAQ

June 11th, 2009 · 4 Comments

WHO officially declared swine flu H1N1 pandemic. The declaration, prompted by the rapidly rising number of cases worldwide.

swine flu,h1n1

A declaration that should have been made months ago, was finally made yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO) from its Geneva headquarters. WHO officially declared the current outbreak of swine flu cases worldwide a pandemic. The declaration, prompted by the rapidly rising number of cases (close to 30,000) worldwide, will prompt drug manufacturers  to accelerate production of swine flu vaccine and force governments to increase funding in their efforts to control outbreaks.

Read the full report here.

As noted in the report, this declaration should have been made months ago, but some politicians from several countries asked the UN body not to make the announcement “fearing it would cause social and economic turmoil.” Well, we’re exactly in the same tight situation today, and would have been better off, if the outbreak was declared a pandemic weeks ago. This is what happens when we allow politics to influence what should purely be a scientific assessment.

There has been a noted pause in outbreaks in countries like the United States, but WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan warned that countries that are experiencing some sort of a “peaking” in swine flu cases, should prepare for a “second wave” of outbreaks. This is not the time for us to let our guard down.

Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of Epidemiology and Prevention at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), has prepared a very informative video explaining the Novel (H1N1) Influenza A virus, its symptoms, transmission, prevention, and treatment.

Watch the H1N1 (Swine Flu) from CDC:

To summarize Dr. Bresee’s  presentation, I’ve prepared a brief Swine Flu H1N1 FAQ below for your convenience.

What are the symptoms of swine flu to look out for?

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea and vomiting (reported in some cases)

How is swine flu transmitted?

  • through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses
  • through contact with a person infected with swine flu virus. Like regular flu,  it can spread through coughing and sneezing.

How is it treated?

CDC recommends the following anti-viral drugs for the treatment of swine flu influenza:

  • Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu ®) is approved to both treat and prevent influenza A and B virus infection in people one year of age and older.
  • Zanamivir (brand name Relenza ®) is approved to treat influenza A and B virus infection in people 7 years and older and to prevent influenza A and B virus infection in people 5 years and older.

Please consult your health professional before starting any treatment. The important thing is for treatment to start immediately (preferably within 2 days) after the onset of the illness. You can also read about the CDC recommendation at:

Who is contagious?

People infected with swine flu may be potentially contagious up to 7 days after the onset of infection or for as long as they have the symptoms of the illness. Children can be contagious for longer periods.

How do you prevent swine flu?

There is currently no medicine or vaccine to prevent swine flu, but there are certain steps we can take to lessen the chance of contracting the virus:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after using.
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid contact with sick people.

What to do when you get sick with influenza?

  • contact your health care provider
  • stay home from work or school and minimize contact with people to avoid infecting them;
  • avoid touching your eyes,nose, and mouth

What signs in children require emergency medical attention?

  • fast breathing or troubled breathing
  • bluish skin color
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not waking up or not interacting
  • being irritable, the child doesn’t want to be held
  • fever with a rash
  • a flu-like symptom that improves but returns with a fever and worse cough

Can you get sick by eating pork?

Swine flue is not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork should be safe.

As WHO’s Dr. Chan pointed out, “We’re all in this together.” The FAQ summarized here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to supplant professional medical advice. Please consult your health provider for proper care and treatment.

Tags: News

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lars // Jul 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    i should say that what you have here is the most detailed post on the subject i have seen so far… many people should find this useful, as it just about covers every info one needs to know on influenza a h1n1… my take on this though, people should not be scared of this, it must not stop them from doing things they’d do otherwise if we take ‘swine flu’ out of the picture… we only need to be aware of it, educate ourselves about it, take precautionary measures and consult the doctor when flu like symptoms is discovered…

  • 2 Lady Samsung Allure // Jul 27, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Though there’s only about 200 known cases in my country, I already happen to know one of them. I hope the virus does not mutate and will disappear quickly, because it might be getting very close indeed!

  • 3 Olivia // Jul 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    This is definitely the best and the very big post for the prevention of swine flu. I think that this should be found on Twitter, because in this way will be to inform more people.

  • 4 domuz gribi // Nov 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    thanks for info.