What is the H1N1 Virus?
According to the CDC, the H1N1 virus is a respiratory disease that is typically found in pigs. It is not typical for humans to contract this virus, but human infections occasionally do happen.
Where do these current human cases of H1N1 come from?
According to the CDC, human infections with H1N1 were first reported in late March/early April 2009 in Southern California and San Antonio, Texas. The original source of the infection is unknown.
Is the current strain contagious?
Yes, the CDC has determined that this strain is contagious and can spread from human to human.
How does the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) spread?
It has yet to be determined how exactly the current strain of swine flu is spreading, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, flu is normally spread through the air via droplets expelled from the mouth when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. These droplets often land on hands and adjacent surfaces. Following proper hygiene routines can help prevent the spread of illness.
How can you protect against H1N1?
Like all viruses, the best way to help prevent the spread of infection is to follow proper hygiene routines. The CDC is recommending these precautionary measures:
- Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after you sneeze or cough. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Be sure to throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them if you yourself become ill.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If possible, avoid travel to infected areas.
For more information, visit:
Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization