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Experts Say Panic Over Swine Flu Is Premature
Date:4/28/2009

hey have 50 million doses of the antiviral flu medication Tamiflu. A quarter of those doses were being released to states, if needed.

"The benefits of antivirals are twofold," Lillibridge explained. "In treatment, to shorten the illness and promote recovery at an earlier time and to prevent complications. Second, it can be used in prevention. If you have been exposed to someone who has swine flu, [the drugs are] 70 to 90 percent effective if taken early enough."

Steps have also been taken to perhaps devise a vaccine against this strain of swine flu.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza. Swine flu does not normally infect humans. However, human infections do occur, usually after exposure to pigs. Symptoms resemble those of the regular flu, including sore throat, coughing and fever. The strain of swine flu circulating in North America appears to be a combination of pig, bird, and human flu strains, experts say.

What You Can Do

For right now and for the next few days, the only people who need to worry about infection are those who have been in Mexico or those who have been around people who have visited that country, said Dr. Mark Metersky, a spokesman for the American College of Chest Physicians.

Experts say precautions against catching swine flu are similar to those recommended for the regular flu, including the following:

  • Stay away from sick people if possible.
  • Stay home if you experience flu-like symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Don't participate in events in crowded places.

More information

There's more on swine flu at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




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