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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jamaica and the Swine Flu Concern

The Swine Flu is a virus that is getting "worldwide" notoriety. Jamaicans or non-nationals in the island who have traveled to locations affected by the influenza A (H1N1) virus (swine flu) within the last two weeks are being asked to immediately contact their health-care providers, the public health departments in their parishes or the Ministry of Health.

The appeal came from director, emergency, disaster management and special services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse.

She said there may be persons who have been exposed to the virus, who are not showing Symptoms, but may still have been infected.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine Flu in people?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. 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 of underlying chronic medical conditions.

What should I do to avoid contracting the swine flu?

First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, Drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the Flu Virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Can I get swine flu from eating or preparing pork?

No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

Taken from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website -

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