Q. What is swine flu?
A. Swine flu is a respiratory illness in pigs caused by a virus. Theswine flu virus routinely causes outbreaks in pigs but doesn't usuallykill many of them.
Q. Can people get swine flu?
A. Swine flu viruses don't usually infect humans. There have beenoccasional cases, usually among people who've had direct contact withinfected pigs, such as farm workers. "We've seen swine influenza inhumans over the past several years, and in most cases, it's come fromdirect pig contact. This seems to be different," said Dr. ArnoldMonto, a flu expert with the University of Michigan.
Q. Can it spread among humans?
A. There have been cases of the virus spreading from human to human,probably in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing andsneezing by infected people.
Q. What are the symptoms of swine flu?
A. The symptoms are similar to those of regular flu — fever, cough,fatigue, lack of appetite
Q. Is the same swine flu virus making people sick in Mexico and the U.S.?
A. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Mexicanvirus samples match the U.S. virus. The virus is a mix of human virus,bird virus from North America and pig viruses from North America,Europe and Asia.
Q. Are there drugs to treat swine flu in humans?
A. There are four different drugs approved in the U.S. to treat theflu, but the new virus has shown resistance to the two oldest. The CDCrecommends the use of the flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza.
Q. Does a regular flu shot protect against swine flu?
A. The seasonal flu vaccine used in the U.S. this year won't likelyprovide protection against the latest swine flu virus. There is aswine flu vaccine for pigs but not for humans.
Q. Should residents of California or Texas do anything special?
A. The CDC recommends routine precautions to prevent the spread ofinfectious diseases: wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouthwhen you cough or sneeze, avoid close contact with sick people. If youare sick, stay at home and limit contact with others.
Q. What about traveling to Mexico?
A. The CDC has not warned Americans against traveling to Mexico butadvises that they be aware of the illnesses there and take precautionsto protect against infections, like washing their hands.
___Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention___On the Net:http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/key_facts.htmhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/med_swine_flu_q_a