Sunday, April 26, 2009
Don't panic, just be informed. The swine flu has spread through Mexico and is believed to have killed 100 people with about 1600 infected. Now there are 20 cases confirmed in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that the strains of the virus are the same. There is concern because this flu, which is usually passed by contact with animals, is now being spread person to person.
The global flu experts are not sure how dangerous the new A (H1N1) swine flu strain is. It is also unknown if this years flu shot will protect against this strain.
The swine flu presents with a fever, body aches and a cough. The U.S. cases were confirmed in California, Kansas, Texas, New York and Ohio. All the cases seem to be with someone who has traveled to Mexico or has had contact with someone who had. I have no doubt that more cases will be identified as this virus is spread.
What can you do? The usual precautions of hand washing and avoiding people with a cough are suggested. If you know someone who has recently been to Mexico, I would avoid contact.
Flu can be differentiated from a common cold because it is more severe with higher fever. Sore throat and runny nose without high fever or body aches are likely a cold. The flu knocks you flat.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 6:32 PM