Swine Flu Information & Resources

This is the outlet for public information and updates as the swine flu situation unfolds.  Local advisories and recommendations will be posted here, as well as links to the best national information. 

Background

Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans.  However, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses has been documented.

CDC – Swine Fluthe best and most rapidly updated source for information on Swine Flu:

  • Symptoms
  • Prevention
  • What to do if you are sick
  • Travel notices

Current US and International Situation

Swine flu is rapidly spreading around the US and internationally.  The following two sites are the best source for updates:

CDC (U.S. Center for disease Control and Prevention)

WHO (World Health Organization)

Local Situation

There have been no cases of swine flu identified in Montana. Cascade County clinicians and and the Health Department are on a program of heightened surveillance and are following CDC guidelines for screening and diagnosis.  The State Health Dept. lab has already received many of specimens for testing. 

Symptoms associated with swine flu

The symptoms of swine influenza are the same as our usual seasonal influenza. Thus far, all cases in the United States have exhibited mild symptoms. These symptoms are:

  • Fever higher than 100 degrees
  • Body aches
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Respiratory congestion
  • Possible vomiting and diarrhea (in addition to respiratory symptoms)

 Travelers

Cascade County has many residents who frequently travel nationally and internationally. There have been many questions about persons returning from areas, including those with flu-like symptoms. CDC recommends that these travelers:

  • Closely monitor your health for 7 days. (local note: no current recommendations to exclude work, school or day care if no symptoms.)
  • If you become ill with fever and other symptoms of swine flu like cough and sore throat and possibly vomiting and diarrhea during this period, call your doctor or clinic for an appointment right away. Your doctor may test you for influenza and decide whether influenza antiviral treatment is indicated. When you make the appointment, tell the doctor the following: Your symptoms,  where you traveled, and if you have had close contact with a person infected with swine flu.    
  • Avoid leaving your home while sick except to get local medical care, or as instructed by your doctor. Do not go to work or school while you are ill. If you must leave your home (for example, to seek medical care) wear a surgical mask to keep from spreading your illness to others.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues in a trash can.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with other people as much as possible.
  • Wear a surgical mask if you are in contact with other people.

CDC Travel Advisory

How to Protect Yourself from Swine flu and Other Respiratory Infections

You can greatly reduce your risk of respiratory infections including swine flu by simple hygiene practices. Please take a moment to review these steps for yourself and with your children.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.