Update on Swine Flu (4/30/2009)
Nicholas R. Blanchard, PharmD, MEd
Dean and Professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently announced the identification of swine flu cases in the United States, including one death to date. Currently, there are no reported cases in the state of Maryland, but cases have been confirmed in nearby Delaware. The Charles Drew Infirmary at UMES is on alert for identification of potential swine flu cases.
Symptoms of the Swine Flu
The symptoms of swine flu in people are be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/key_facts.htm)
If you have flu-like symptoms, please call the Student Health Center at 410-651-6597.
Preventing Swine Flu
The same basic precautions for the seasonal flu also apply to the swine flu:
1) Stay home when you are sick;
2) Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough;
3) WASH YOUR HANDS; (thoroughly for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water)
4) Call your doctor if you have severe respiratory symptoms and you have reason to believe you have been exposed to a case of the swine flu;
5) Have your personal/family preparedness plan in place and ready to activate;
6) Follow the news and stay aware of new swine flu developments.
Treating Swine Flu
Treatment is usually aimed at relieving symptoms (pain relievers, etc). There are two prescription products available (Tamiflu and Relenza) which when taken early enough in the disease progression may shorten the course of the illness. These drugs are in no way a cure for the disease.
Information will be updated as available.
For more information on the swine flu, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website: www.cdc.gov/swineflu