What is swine influenza?
Swine influenza, or “swine flu”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols, direct and indirect contact, and carrier pigs without symptoms. Outbreaks in pigs occur year round, with an increased incidence in the fall and winter in temperate zones. Many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against swine influenza.
Swine influenza viruses are most commonly of the H1N1 subtype, but other subtypes are also circulating in pigs. Although swine influenza viruses are normally species specific and only infect pigs, they do sometimes cross the species barrier to cause disease in humans.
How can I protect myself from getting swine influenza from infected people?
In the past, human infection with swine influenza was generally mild but is known to have caused severe illness such as pneumonia For the current outbreaks in the United States and Mexico however, the clinical pictures have been different. None of the confirmed cases in the United States have had the severe form of the disease and the patients recovered from illness without requiring medical care. In Mexico, some patients reportedly had the severe form of the disease.
To protect yourself, practice general preventive measures for influenza:
If there is an ill person at home:
If you are living in a country where swine influenza has caused disease in humans, follow additional advice from national and local health authorities.
What should I do if I think I or someone in my family has swine influenza?
If you or your children feel unwell, have high fever, cough and/or sore throat:
If you need medical attention:
What are the implications for human health?
Outbreaks and sporadic human infection with swine influenza have been occasionally reported. Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza but reported clinical presentation ranges broadly from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia resulting in death.
Since typical clinical presentation of swine influenza infection in humans resembles seasonal influenza and other acute upper respiratory tract infections, most of the cases have been detected by chance through seasonal influenza surveillance. Mild or asymptomatic cases may have escaped from recognition; therefore the true extent of this disease among humans is unknown.
Where have human cases occurred?
As of today no cases have been reported in Indonesia but there has been sickened: 26 confirmed in Mexico, with up to 6,000 people showing symptoms; 68 confirmed in U.S.; 13 confirmed in Canada; two confirmed in Scotland; 14 confirmed in New Zealand; two confirmed in Spain; and two confirmed in Israel.
How do people become infected?
People usually get swine influenza from infected pigs, however, some human cases lack contact history with pigs or environments where pigs have been located. Human-to-human transmission has occurred in some instances but was limited to close contacts and closed groups of people.
Is it safe to eat pork and pork products?
Yes. Swine influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork (pig meat) or other products derived from pigs. The swine influenza virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F/70°C, corresponding to the general guidance for the preparation of pork and other meat.
What about the pandemic risk?
It is likely that most of people, especially those who do not have regular contact with pigs, do not have immunity to swine influenza viruses that can prevent the virus infection. If a swine virus establishes efficient human-to human transmission, it can cause an influenza pandemic. The impact of a pandemic caused by such a virus is difficult to predict: it depends on virulence of the virus, existing immunity among people, cross protection by antibodies acquired from seasonal influenza infection and host factors.
Is there a human vaccine to protect from swine influenza?
There are no vaccines that contain the current swine influenza virus causing illness in humans. It is not known whether current human seasonal influenza vaccines can provide any protection. Influenza viruses change very quickly. It is important to develop a vaccine against the currently circulating virus strain for it to provide maximum protection to the vaccinated people. This is why WHO needs access to as many viruses as possible in order to select the most appropriate candidate vaccine virus.
What drugs are available for treatment?
Most of the previously reported swine influenza cases recovered fully from the disease without requiring medical attention and without antiviral medicines.
Some influenza viruses develop resistance to the antiviral medicines, limiting the effectiveness of treatment. The viruses obtained from the recent human cases with swine influenza in the United States are sensitive to oselatmivir and zanamivir but resistant to amantadine and remantadine.
Information is insufficient to make recommendation on the use of the antivirals in treatment of swine influenza virus infection. Clinicians have to make decisions based on the clinical and epidemiological assessment and harms and benefit of the treatment of the patient2. For the ongoing outbreak of the swine influenza infection in the United States and Mexico, the national and the local authorities are recommending to use oseltamivir or zanamivir for treatment of the disease based on the virus’s susceptibility profile.
Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria.
Mycoplasma can cause sore throat, bronchitis and pneumonia
Mycoplasma is usually spread from person-to-person through the air and by direct contact
Mycoplasma is found in the throat of infected persons and is spread to other people through the air by sneezing and coughing. It can also spread by touching tissues or other things recently soiled by secretions from the nose or throat of an infected person.
People of any age can get Mycoplasma
Children under five years usually have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The illness is recognised more in school-age children and young adults.
Symptoms to look for include:
Symptoms start from 6 to 32 days after exposure. The illness can last for a few days to a month or more (especially coughing). Complications do not happen often. The infected person remains contagious for probably less than 20 days.
Mycoplasma pneumonia is usually diagnosed by blood tests and x-ray of the chest
Treatment is available
The disease can be treated with antibiotics. While antibiotics help an infected person to feel better faster, they do not remove the bacteria from the throat. Mycoplasma can remain in the throat for as long as 13 weeks.
Steps to take to prevent the spread of Mycoplasma infection
What is dengue infection?
Dengue is an acute flu-like fever caused by a virus. It occurs in two forms:
Dengue fever is marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes and pain in the muscles and joints.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a more severe form in which bleeding and sometimes shock occurs. This can lead to death. Symptoms of bleeding usually occur after 2 to 3 days of fever.
The high fever continues for 5 to 6 days (103-105°F or 39-40°C). It comes down on the third or on the fourth day but rises again. The person feels a lot of discomfort and is very weak after the illness.
Recognition of Dengue Fever
Recognition of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Shock
Symptoms similar to dengue fever, plus any one or a combination of the following:
Confirmation of DF and DHF can be done by specific laboratory tests.
Persons suspected of having DF or DHF must be examined by a doctor
Proper and early treatment can relive the symptoms and prevent complications. Aspirin and Brufen should be avoided in dengue fever, as they are known to increase the bleeding tendency and may lead to serious complications. Severe abdominal pain, (black stools), bleeding on the skin or from the nose or gums, sweating and cold skin, etc are danger signs, if any of them is noticed, take the person to a hospital immediately.
Fluids are very important to reduce complications and accelerate recovery. Fluids include drinking water but fruit juices and tea are also good options. In a healthy individual it means drinking 2-3 liters per day.
Basic facts on Dengue
Prevention of Dengue
Prevent the multiplication of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes which spread dengue live and breed in stagnant water in and around houses
Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has been prevalent in Indonesia since 2003 when the first cases were detected in chickens. The first human cases were detected in 2005 and Indonesia now has recorded the largest number of human cases in the world with over 123 people infected and over 103 deaths.
As a standard precaution WHO offers the following information.
Cleanliness is one of the most effective means of preventing illness from contaminated foods. All uncooked meat, seafood and chicken contain bacteria that can make you ill. Wash your hands in hot soap water before and after preparing foods. It is just as important to properly clean the utensils you use to prepare foods. If possible sue plastic cutting boards and wash them after every use with hot soap water and a disinfectant. Do not forget the dishcloths. Wash them often in hot water to prevent spreading bacteria throughout your kitchen.
Separating raw poultry from ready to eat foods is a critical step to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. When you are grocery shopping, keep raw meats away from fresh produce and other ready-to-eat foods. Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meats and use a separate cutting board for raw meat products. It is wise to use one colour cutting board for raw meats and another for fruits, vegetables and cooked foods. The difference in colours will also assist domestic helpers to remember which board to use.
Cooking. Foods properly and thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria and viruses that cause food borne illness. The most effective way to ensure that poultry is cooked properly is to use a meat thermometer. It should be cooked to an internal temperature of 180F or 70C. The meat should not be pink and there should be no red blood in the bones.
Eggs can carry both bacteria and viruses. To ensure they are safe, eggs must be cooked until both the whites and the yolks are firm. Wash the eggs and refrigerate them promptly after buying. Remember to wash your hands after handling eggs.
Prevent cross-contamination, hand washing and proper cooking of poultry and eggs are critical points for preventing disease transmission.