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H1N1 Influenza A FAQs


  • What is novel H1N1 Influenza A (formerly known as swine flu) and how is it spread?
    H1N1 Influenza A virus, is a virus that can spread from people who are infected to others through coughs and sneezes. When people cough or sneeze, they spread germs through the air or onto surfaces that other people may touch.
  • Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?
    No. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get H1N1 Influenza A from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160F kills the H1N1flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

  • What should I do to keep from getting the H1N1 virus?
    Get vaccinated. It is also very important to wash your hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Prevention Actions:

  1. Stay home from work or school if you have a respiratory illness to avoid spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  5. Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Alcohol based hand gels are also effective.
  6. If you are experiencing severe symptoms including cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, chills, headaches, body aches possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, please contact your physician or health care provider.
  7. People experience severe symptoms including cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, chills, headaches, body aches possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, should contact their physician
  • What are the Symptoms?
    The symptoms of Influenza A H1N1 infection are similar to those of regular seasonal human flu which includes: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Some people with swine flu have reported vomiting or diarrhea.Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu may cause mild to severe disease.
  • What should I do if I am sick?
    If you have mild flu-like symptoms such as a low grade fever, sore throat, slight cough, stay at home until symptoms have resolved to prevent infecting others. If you have severe symptoms like fever (temperature > 100 degree F or 38 degree C), body aches, persistent cough, diarrhea, please contact your health care provider and seek medical help.

  • When to Seek Emergency Medical Care?
    Get medical care right away if the sick person at home:

    • has difficulty breathing or pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
    • has purple or blue discoloration of the lips
    • is vomiting and unable to keep liquids down
    • has signs of dehydration such as dizziness when standing, absence of urination, or in infants, a lack of tears when they cry
    • has seizures (for example, uncontrolled convulsions)
    • is less responsive than normal or becomes confused
    • symptoms that being to improve and then return with fever and worse cough
    • For children: fever with rash
  • How long is a person contagious?
    One day prior to onset of symptoms to 7 or more days after becoming ill. 


  • How do I protect myself and my children from infection? 

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not nearby, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. If you use a tissue, throw it away after you use it and wash your hands.
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
    • Stay away from people who are sick.


Additional information and updates on swine flu are available on the following websites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH)

Update Dec 11, 2009 

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