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What you need to know about swine flu

About swine flu

Swine flu is a respiratory illness in pigs caused by a virus. The swine flu virus routinely causes outbreaks in pigs but doesn't usually kill many of them.

Symptoms: The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human season 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.

Testing: To diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first four to five days of illness. Your physician would then send the specimen to a state lab. The state lab could test for influenza, but not swine flu specifically. If the test meets a certain criteria that it could be swine flu, the state lab would send it to the Centers for Disease and Control in Atlanta, which is the only place in the U.S. that can determine if it is swine flu.

Treatment: Two antiviral drugs are being recommended by the CDC for treatment of swine influenza virus. One is oseltamivir, better known as Tamiflu. The other is zanamivir, better known as Relenza.

What you need to know about swine flu 04/29/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 6:05pm]
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