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What Do I Need to Know About Swine Flu?

Dr. Tanya Benenson, NBCUniversal Medical Director

What is swine flu?
It is a lot like our seasonal flu but it usually only affects pigs. This one, swine influenza A (H1N1), is affecting humans who have not been exposed to pigs. This suggests there might be human-to-human transmission. The mode of transmission is presumably respiratory droplets.

If I had the flu shot, am I protected?
No. The swine H1N1 is very different from the human H1N1 that is in the flu vaccine. Currently there is no human vaccine available for swine flu.

How can I prevent getting the flu?

  • Hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (minimum concentration of 60 percent to 95 percent ethanol or isopropanol).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as those are direct entry points for viruses. Viruses can get on your hands when you touch infected objects.
·                  Avoid close contact (6ft) with a sick person.