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Home Keeping Yourself Safe From Flu The latest news: Swine flu updates

The latest news: Swine flu updates

When looking across the Internet and at news sources for a swine flu update, the source of the material matters. Some sites do not have information backed up by official agencies. The news from these must be taken with some skepticism until a verification of their facts can be made. Reputable sites are those from trusted health agencies staffed by physicians. These include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Both of these have sites devoted exclusively to swine flu updates and H1N1 flu pandemic.

Be aware of any place trying to use swine flu updates to sell preventative measures such as face masks or antiviral drugs. Antiviral medications can only be legally prescribed by a physician who will determine if the patient has a higher risk for developing complications from the swine flu.  Face masks are not designed to remove the small swine flu germs from the air breathed through the mask, and they will provide little protection from the disease. The best prevention remains maintaining good nutrition, hand washing, getting enough rest, and avoid those who are ill with the flu.

Swine flu updates are available instantly to parents of school children in many states. The system used by Missouri sends an alert out to parents for news items concerning any H1N1 (swine) flu update. For those who do not live in such states, there are applications available for download to smart phones which track swine flu cases in the area.

These tools can provide valuable information to health care workers, teachers, and caretakers of those most at risk. Unlike seasonal flu which hits the oldest and youngest the hardest, the swine flu has affected mainly the very young, pregnant women, and those with medical complications. Elderly patients only have mild symptoms from it in many instances. This closely mirrors the pattern last seen by the deadlier Spanish flu of 1918 – 1919.

Amidst all of the swine flu updates, what should one do if he becomes ill? How can someone tell the difference between cold vs flu symptoms? Cold symptoms are milder, generally lacking a fever and the gradual onset often allows a person to still be able to conduct his daily functions, but both the seasonal flu and the swine flu appear suddenly with a high fever, aches, extreme fatigue, chills, headaches, cough, and occasionally diarrhea and vomiting. Those who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or autoimmune disorders and pregnant women, should talk to their physician about getting antiviral medications. This discussion needs to happen within two days of the onset of symptoms for the drugs to be effective. This is the only course of action to be taken until a swine flu vaccine is released.

A swine flu update will inform the public of the release of the official vaccine. Those given this shot first will be those offered antivirals: people with chronic medical conditions which could lead to complications. After that, health care workers and others who live or work closely with high risk people will be given the vaccine. The public is encouraged to watch for the latest swine flu update to direct their actions during the flu season.

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