The Swine Flu, also known as the Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) has been one of the top headlines in newspapers around the world lately, and a favorite topic among journalists who have warned the public about the possibilities of a pandemic. So what exactly is a pandemic, the swine flu and should we really be alarmed? What precautions and safety measures should we take if we are traveling in order to avoid getting the virus? Although it is not time to panic yet, it is still a good idea to take some safety measures especially if you are planning to travel to your summer vacation rental these days.
What is the Swine Flu?
The Swine Flu, according to Wikipedia refers to “the influenza caused by those strains of influenza virus, called Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) that usually infect pigs.” The flu outbreak in humans is due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that originated in Mexico. The symptoms of the swine flu are similar to those of a regular influenza with respiratory illness, fever, headache, sore throat, nasal stuffiness and cough. Some of the basic differences include having besides all other symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting and very high temperatures.
At What Point Should I See the Doctor?
Although doctors recommend not panicking over regular flu symptoms it is important that the very young and the very old always see a doctor about any flu. If you have any diarrhea or high fever and you are getting worse then don’t doubt about making the phone call. The reality is that although everybody would like to have an answer as to what exactly determines if you have swine flu or not, only a lab test can confirm it.
For Those Traveling
If you are traveling to a vacation home these days and consider you might be at high risk here are some safety measures that can be taken in order to avoid getting infected.
-Take an Antiviral (Tamiflu or Relenza) before traveling.
-Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use alcohol-based hand gel.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
-Avoid close contact with people who appear ill.
-Avoid crowds in affected areas.
-Update routine vaccines.
-Defer travel to areas with poor medical infrastructure that have a high incidence of swine flu or other diseases.
-Be sure your health insurance will cover you abroad; if not, consider travel insurance but read policies carefully.