Tips for containing spread of swine flu

Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2009

NEW YORK - A swine flu outbreak appears to have killed dozens in Mexico and more cases are showing up in the United States and around the world.

The U.S. hasn't advised against travel to Mexico but does urge precautions such as frequent hand-washing while there, and began questioning arriving travelers about flu symptoms.

Symptoms include a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

Joseph Domenech, chief of animal health service at U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency in Rome, said all indications were that the virus is being spread through human-to-human transmission.

Health officials are recommending several steps to prevent the spread of the virus:

• If you have flu symptoms, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the disease. Do not return until two days after your symptoms are gone.

• Wash your hands often and cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

• Go to the hospital if you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing; but if your symptoms are mild, stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others at the hospital.

• Masks may be recommended for health care workers, family members and others who come in close contact with swine flu patients, but there is no need for the general public to wear masks.

• It is safe to eat properly handled pork. Cook it to at least of 160F.

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