(WAVY) - News of the swine flu outbreak has many Americans concerned.Here are some basic facts about the disease from the Centers forDisease Control .
What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigscaused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks ofinfluenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illnessand low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulateamong swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur duringthe late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. Theclassical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) wasfirst isolated from a pig in 1930.
What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similarto the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and includefever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people withswine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea,vomiting and diarrhea.
How does swine flu spread?
Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs topeople and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu virusesfrom pigs are most likely to occur when people are in closeproximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestockexhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission ofswine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same wayas seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-persontransmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected withthe influenza virus. People may become infected by touchingsomething with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth ornose.
How can human infections with swine influenza be diagnosed?
To diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory specimenwould generally need to be collected within the first 4 to 5 daysof illness (when an infected person is most likely to be sheddingvirus). However, some persons, especially children, may shed virusfor 10 days or longer. Identification as a swine flu influenza Avirus requires sending the specimen to CDC for laboratorytesting.
What medications are available to treat swine flu infections in humans?
There are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed foruse in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine ,rimantadine , oseltamivir and zanamivir . While most swineinfluenza viruses have been susceptible to all four drugs, the mostrecent swine influenza viruses isolated from humans are resistantto amantadine and rimantadine. At this time, CDC recommends the useof oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention ofinfection with swine influenza viruses.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.