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TIP OF THE MONTH

AUGUST

What is H3N2v…A New Swine Flu?

H3N2v, also known as Influenza A, is a virus that originated in pigs but has spread through human contact.  H3N2v has caused a number of pandemics worldwide.  It is very contagious and can cause severe illness, especially in the very young or old.  A recent outbreak in the United States has claimed 16 cases in the past month.  Because this outbreak is a relatively mild flu, many more cases have likely occurred without being reported to health officials.  Although most of the reported cases were among children and were mild cases, some cases are expected to be severe.

Signs and symptoms to look out for with H3N2v are:

  • Runny nose                
  • Sore throat
  • Aching muscles/body
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Watery eyes

Complete signs and symptoms as well as other information pertaining to the flu can be found at: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/t/type_a_influenza_subtype_h3n2/intro.htm

The flu is a virus so taking an antibiotic will not help.  Medications may be used to alleviate symptoms such as fever, pain, and runny nose.  Antiviral medications may reduce the severity and duration of symptoms in some cases (it is best to start these medications within 36 hours of the initiation of symptoms).  Plenty of rest and fluids are also essential for a fast recovery.  Getting regular flu shots can prevent a seasonal influenza illness.

How to Avoid Swine Flu
If you plan on visiting a state fair, the CDC is issuing special advice:

  • If you are pregnant, frail, have a weakened immune system, or have any other risk for severe flu, consider skipping the state fair this year.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before AND after exposure to animals.
  • Don't carry food or beverages into areas where there are animals.
  • Don’t eat or drink in areas where there are animals.

Although a person can get swine flu from contact with live pigs, the disease is not spread by eating or preparing pork.
If you would like more information about H3N2v, please visit the link below:

http://www.webmd.com/news/20120803/new-swine-flu-outbreak-worries-cdc

 

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