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H1N1: What You Should Know
Date:5/22/2009

DALLAS, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Gonzalo Venegas, M.D., has issued the following press release:

As a Dallas-based physician, there has been a recent flurry of panic about the H1N1 (swine influenza). School districts closed down. Intramural sports statewide were cancelled. Some even suggested closing the border with Mexico, where approximately three quarters of a million people routinely cross back and forth every day. The panic certainly was fueled by the media reports. Likewise, the media can serve to educate the public about health issues.

For that reason, I have created this column to respond to frequently asked questions about H1N1 and reassure the public that pork is safe and will continue to be safe to consume.

What is H1N1 (swine flu)?

H1N1 (previously referred to as "swine flu") is a respiratory illness. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico and Canada, have reported people sick with this new virus. This virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.

Why was the H1N1 virus originally called "swine flu"?

This virus was originally referred to as "swine flu" because laboratory testing showed that some of the genes in this new virus were similar to influenza viruses that have occurred in pigs. But further study has shown that this H1N1 virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. In fact, this strain is unique and was not previously recognized in either people or pigs.

How is H1N1 spread?

Flu viruses generally spread from person to person, often through the moisture in coughs and sneezes. This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of anoth
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SOURCE National Pork Board
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