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Swine flu: Frequently asked questions

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By Bryan Marshall

Is it safe to consume pork products?

Yes. 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.

Should I avoid traveling to Mexico?

At this time, the CDC recommends that travelers at high risk for complications from any form of influenza discuss with their physicians the risks and benefits of travel in the context of their planned itinerary to Mexico, and may want to consider postponing travel. Travelers at high risk for complications include:

If I had a flu shot this season, am I protected against swine flu?

No. The vaccine for seasonal influenza is not effective against swine flu.

Is there currently a vaccine for swine flu?

At this time, there is no vaccine for the current strain of swine flu. The CDC is working on a vaccine at the moment, but it will most likely not be ready to use until the fall of 2009. This is because vaccines have to go through extensive testing to measure their safety before they can be approved for use. However, antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, are available to lessen the symptoms and duration of swine flu.

Does the Health Department test for swine flu?

No. Contact your health care provider if you come down with flu-like symptoms, including body aches, coughing, diarrhea, fever, lack of appetite, lethargy, nausea, runny nose, sore throat and vomiting.

    

Information provided by the Northern Kentucky Health Department