Swine Flu expected to hit the United States hard this season
The Swine Flu, also known as H1N1, has spread rapidly among humans for the past six months. It is estimated to continue spreading through the regular flu season. Recently, a vaccine was produced for the virus that is not yet readily available but will be shortly.
According to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the vaccine should first be given to those who fall under certain criteria, including pregnant women, everyone between the ages of six months and twenty-four years, those who care for infants under six months, health care workers and people between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-four “who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza” (about.com).
Those who are considered “high-risk” with regard to contracting the Swine Flu have “chronic diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and those who are immunocompromised, meaning their immune system is down for some reason” (umich.edu). Also considered under the “high-risk” category are those on dialysis or who have chronic lung disease.
Symptoms related to the Swine Flu are the same as those of the regular flu, including fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, nausea and headaches.
In order to protect yourself from becoming ill, take the usual procedures you would against other viral and bacterial infections: wash your hands often and avoid touching your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth) as much as possible; avoid others who are sick and stay home if you are ill; and sleep and eat well to keep your immune system in check.