As Australia's swine flu tally passes 250, more and more people search for clues and description of swine flu symptoms. What are swine flu symptoms and how to avoid swine flu?
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Swine Flu In Australia
The Health Department of Western Australia published a comprehensive guide to Swine Flu and Swine Flu symptoms: “Human swine flu – What Western Australians need to know” which provides useful information on symptoms of Swine Flu and how to avoid it (http://www.health.wa.gov.au/swine_flu/FAQ/index.cfm)
Swine Flu Symptoms
The human swine flu symptoms in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include;
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- chills and fatigue
However, doctors surgeries around Perth warn people to call GP immediately if they have
AND one of the following:
chills and fatigue.
So, there must be fever and one or more other symptoms for it to qualify for swine flu test. It is, however, wise to contact your GP if you have any concerns whatsoever about Swine Flu.
Seasonal flu or human swine flu?
- There is always a background level of flu in the community.
- Currently rates of flu are low in the general population of Western Australia and we are not yet into the seasonal increase in cases.
- WA Health recommends people get their usual flu vaccinations , particularly those 65 years and older, those people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women in their second or third trimester and children.
- There is also a free seasonal flu vaccine for young children in Western Australia for children aged 6 months to 4 years old. To find out more, speak to your GP.
- Importantly, anyone who begins to show the symptoms of flu should consult their GP.
Human swine flu
- Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza.
- Most animal species suffer from influenza but the disease is usually common to the species.
- Swine flu has jumped between pigs and humans — probably when people have had close contact with pigs.
- Human swine flu is a new strain of influenza with a changed genetic structure which has allowed it to transmit between people.
How to avoid swine flu
The current flu vaccine will not protect against human swine flu infection but will protect against seasonal influenza. However, some antiviral drugs (like Tamiflu) have proven effective in treating people who contract the new human swine flu strain.
The best way to avoid contracting the flu is to adopt effective personal hygiene habits including:
- washing your hands properly and regularly for at least 15 seconds using soap and water
- covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing
- disposing of tissues in an enclosed bin
- avoiding crowds where possible (keep 1m distance between people)
More Information on Swine Flu
For more information contact your GP or your state’s Health Department or call Health Direct Australia on 1800 022 222. UPDATE: Australians can now get free swine flu vaccine – please contact your GP.
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The review "Swine Flu Symptoms" was last updated on 30/05/2009.