Friday, April 24, 2009

Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico; cases found in CA & TX

AP just reported Swine flu outbreak in Mexico, Mexico city closes schools. This outbreak has been responsible for the deaths of 60 people in Mexico. Cases have been reported in California and Texas.

A 9-year-old girl in Imperial County and a 10-year-old boy in San Diego County both were identified as having swine flu. Luckily, neither child needed hospitalization and both have recovered. Health officials, however, are puzzled and looking for the source of the infection.

The story can be found here:,0,1362740.story

What is the swine flu?

Swine flu refers to four different types of flu strains that circulate among pigs. Under normal conditions, typically humans don’t contract swine flu. Unless, of course, they have direct contact with pigs.

Historically, the swine flu epidemic of 1918 hit the U.S., killing more than 500,000 that year. In 1976, the U.S. was scared again by swine flu. A national vaccination program was launched and fewer people died.

This strain of swine flu originated in Mexico and is a NEW strain of the virus. For this reason, there is no vaccine to protect against it.

What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

* Fever (usually high)
* Headache
* Extreme tiredness
* Dry cough
* Sore throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Muscle aches
* Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults

These symptoms are usually referred to as "flu-like symptoms."

More info can be found at the CDC here:


* If you are sick, do not go to work. Stay home so you do not potentially infect others.

* Seek medical attention. Only a doctor can diagnose your condition and treat it.

* If employees show up at work with flu-like symptoms, coordinate with HR to send them home until they are well or it is determined that they are not suffering from the flu.

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