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Swine Flu

Sneezing, coughing, nausea, fever, body aches, drowsiness…

Do these sound familiar?

They should… they’re just a few symptoms of that dirty 3 letter sickness that nobody likes to get…

The flu.

When you have the flu… your world stops… for a week you are utterly useless.

But as bad as the flu is… at least we have a time table of when we know to look out for these energy sucking viruses (late fall to winter traditionally)… until now.

Nature went ahead a cooked up a nice little strand classified as the H1N1 virus…or what it’s being called in the news…

Swine flu.

This little puppy was nice enough to show up about 5 months early and send the free world into a tailspin.

Since the outbreak of the swine flu… the sales of medical masks have increased exponentially… while the opposite can be said for pork as the prices of pig have dropped to sub-basement levels.

And the mass media isn’t helping the situation.

But the internet is a wonderful thing… billions of tidbits of information at your fingertips… all just a click away.

After a little digging there are a few things about the swine flu you should know…

One of the most asked questions over the past few weeks has been:

What are the symptoms?

Well… they symptoms to the H1N1 are very similar to the human strands of influenzas…

According to the CDC- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention…

The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

I guess this means you don’t start running around on all fours saying “oink, oink”…that’s a relief!

So there’s really not much different from a normal flu… which is sort of good news… though I’m not ready to go out and hug a pig.

Then there are the other rumors…

Such as how the virus is contracted.

One of the biggest rumors so far is that you can catch the swine flu from eating pork.

I am glad to say… that rumor is false.

Again, according to the CDC…

Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

So don’t shy away from that ham sandwich just yet…

Well then…how do you catch the swine flu?

Again…the Swine flu is very much like the normal human strand of the influenza virus…except for one little exception.

You can catch it from being in close proximity to pigs… like in a pig barn or at a county fair.

Other than that…the CDC says that:

Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Makes sense, right?


There is one rumor that is true… and that is:

There isn’t a vaccine for swine flu yet…

And even though researchers are working on it…

Knowing what can you do to avoid catching the swine flu is very important

Well, here are a few tips as to what you can follow…

  • Avoid close contact– Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick if possible– Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Clean your hands– Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth– Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits– Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
But I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know…
Just trying to keep you informed… because not all the information you hear is accurate.
Lately…there have been many old wives tales about protecting yourself from the flu that have made their way back from the dark ages …
Such as carrying garlic around in your pocket… which is both dangerous because you are still suseptible to the flu… as well as makes you unattractive to those within smelling distance.
I guess for some people desperate times call for desperate measures…
But to really kick the swine flu’s tail… kick your immune system into high gear.
There are many vitamins and nutrients out there that really boost your bodies ability to fight off infections…
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B (all of them!)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
As well as these vitamins… there are the herbal remedies that have also been proven to give immune systems a jump start… here are the top of the bunch:
  • Echinacea
  • Golenseal
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Garlic
  • Pro-biotics

And a host of others!
And as beneficial as this information is… when it comes to illness… common sense is your best defense.

Use yours and be healthy!

Stay Well!

Shawn Ambrosino


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