Community Swine Flu Resources

What is Swine Flu?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a type-A influenza virus. The current strain is a new variation of the disease that is a mix of human and animal versions. The CDC has determined the virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human with cases reported in Mexico and here in the United States in New York City, Southern California and near San Antonio, Texas. Because there is no vaccine available as yet to protect against swine flu, the best defense is good hygiene.

Why do we need to know about Swine Flu in Cooperstown?

While most infection clusters seem to be starting in Mexico, illness is not limited to persons who live there - because the virus is capable of human to human transmission, local people who have had close personal contact with travelers to Mexico are at risk of developing symptoms.

How can I protect myself from infection?

"The public plays a key role in preventing the spread of any contagious illness," notes Ruth Blackman, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Bassett Healthcare. "It’s the simple steps that will make a big difference in our ability to prevent or contain the spread of swine flu. Things like staying home from school or work if you are sick, not visiting the hospital if you’re ill, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water are basic recommendations that are crucial in stemming an outbreak." Blackman explains that it is particularly important to be vigilant because it is now known that this flu spreads person-to-person, instead of from animals to humans only. As it is a new strain, people have no natural immunity making it harder to treat or fight off the disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of Swine Flu?

Swine flu symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

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