Thursday, April 30, 2009
The swine flu is like the human flu, but pigs are excellent hosts for the virus. Because pigs are genetically close to humans, they can pass the virus to us more easily than birds can. Swine flu doesn’t often infect people, and the rare human cases that have occurred in the past have mostly affected people who had direct contact with pigs. However, the current swine flu outbreak is unique and is caused by a new swine flu virus that is spreading from person to person and happening to those who have not had close contact with pigs.
What can you do now?
Follow these tips to prevent the seasonal flu and the swine flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick. You will prevent others from catching your illness.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep. Become physically active. Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
- To help stop the spread of germs, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze in your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol based cleaner.
- For more information on the swine flu, or if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, students, faculty or staff should visit the Brooks Health Center. Call them at 536-7053.