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Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Novel H1N1 Flu Novel H1N1 Flu in Humans Prevention & Treatment Contamination & Cleaning Exposures Not Thought to Spread Novel H1N1 Flu Novel H1N1 Flu What is novel H1N1 (Swine Flu)?Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930. Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway. How many swine flu viruses are there?Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassert (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses. Why is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because left229870laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "
virus. Novel H1N1 Flu in Humans Can humans catch swine flu?Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of apparent swine flu infection in pigs in Wisconsin in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close contact with the patient. Are there human infections with novel H1N1 virus in the U.S.?Yes. Human infections with the new H1N1 virus are ongoing in the United States. Most people who have become ill with this new virus have recovered without requiring medical treatment. CDC routinely works with states to collect, compile and analyze information about influenza, and has done the same for the new H1N1 virus since the beginning of the outbreak. This information is presented in a weekly report, called Flu View. How common is swine flu infection in humans?In the past, CDC received reports of approximately one human swine influenza virus infection every one to two years in the U.S., but from December 2005 through February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza have been reported. Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?No. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses. How can human infections with swine influenza be diagnosed?To diagnose swine influenza an infection, a respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first 4 to 5 days of illness (when an infected person is most likely to be shedding virus). However, some persons, especially children, may shed virus for 10 days or longer. Identification as a swine flu influenza A virus requires sending the specimen to CDC for laboratory testing. What medications are available to treat swine flu infections in humans?There are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir. While most swine influenza viruses have been susceptible to all four drugs, the most recent seven swine influenza viruses isolated from humans are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. At this time, CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses What other examples of swine flu outbreaks are there?Probably the most well known is an outbreak of swine flu among soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1976. The virus caused disease with x-ray evidence of pneumonia in at least 4 soldiers and 1 death; all of these patients had previously been healthy. The virus was transmitted to close contacts in a basic training environment, with limited transmission outside the basic training group. The virus is thought to have circulated for a month and disappeared. The source of the virus, the exact time of its introduction into Fort Dix, and factors limiting its spread and duration are unknown. The Fort Dix outbreak may have been caused by introduction of an animal virus into a stressed human population in close contact in crowded facilities during the winter. The swine influenza A virus collected from a Fort Dix soldier was named A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1). Is the H1N1 swine flu virus the same as human H1N1 viruses?No. The H1N1 swine flu viruses are antigenically very different from human H1N1 viruses and, therefore, vaccines for human seasonal flu would not provide protection from H1N1 swine flu viruses. Is novel H1N1 virus contagious?CDC has determined that novel H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. How does novel H1N1 virus spread? Spread of novel H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?right27305The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus. How severe is illness associated with novel H1N1 flu virus?Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus have occurred. In seasonal flu, certain people are at “high risk” of serious complications. This includes people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions. About 70 percent of people who have been hospitalized with this novel H1N1 virus have had one or more medical conditions previously recognized as placing people at “high risk” of serious seasonal flu-related complications. This includes pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma and kidney disease. One thing that appears to be different from seasonal influenza is that adults older than 64 years do not yet appear to be at increased risk of novel H1N1-related complications thus far. CDC laboratory studies have shown that no children and very few adults younger than 60 years old have existing antibody to novel H1N1 flu virus; however, about one-third of adults older than 60 may have antibodies against this virus. It is unknown how much, if any, protection may be afforded against novel H1N1 flu by any existing antibody. How does novel H1N1 flu compare to seasonal flu in terms of its severity and infection rates?With seasonal flu, we know that seasons vary in terms of timing, duration and severity. Seasonal influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Each year, in the United States, on average 36,000 people die from flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related causes. Of those hospitalized, 20,000 are children younger than 5 years old. Over 90% of deaths and about 60 percent of hospitalization occur in people older than 65. When the novel H1N1 outbreak was first detected in mid-April 2009, CDC began working with states to collect, compile and analyze information regarding the novel H1N1 flu outbreak, including the numbers of confirmed and probable cases and the ages of these people. The information analyzed by CDC supports the conclusion that novel H1N1 flu has caused greater disease burden in people younger than 25 years of age than older people. At this time, there are few cases and few deaths reported in people older than 64 years old, which is unusual when compared with seasonal flu. However, pregnancy and other previously recognized high risk medical conditions from seasonal influenza appear to be associated with increased risk of complications from this novel H1N1. These underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy. How does swine flu spread?Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?People infected with seasonal and novel H1N1 flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems and in people infected with the new H1N1 virus. What do we know about human-to-human spread of swine flu?1905043180In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman was hospitalized for pneumonia and died 8 days later. A swine H1N1 flu virus was detected. Four days before getting sick, the patient visited a county fair swine exhibition where there was widespread influenza-like illness among the swine.In follow-up studies, 76% of swine exhibitors tested had antibody evidence of swine flu infection but no serious illnesses were detected among this group. Additional studies suggest that one to three health care personnel who had contact with the patient developed mild influenza-like illnesses with antibody evidence of swine flu infection. Prevention & Treatment What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?There is no vaccine available right now to protect against novel H1N1 virus. However, a novel H1N1 vaccine is currently in production and may be ready for the public in the fall. As always, a vaccine will be available to protect against seasonal influenza. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners* are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Other important actions that you can take are: Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs,* tissues and other related items might could be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze. If I have a family member at home who is sick with novel H1N1 flu, should I go to work?Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with novel H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.* If they become ill, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness. For more information please see General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers. What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner*. CDC recommends that when you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands. What should I do if I get sick?If you live in areas where people have been identified with novel H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings. If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care. In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include: Fast breathing or trouble breathing Bluish or gray skin color Not drinking enough fluids Severe or persistent vomiting Not waking up or not interacting Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen Sudden dizziness Confusion Severe or persistent vomiting Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough Are there medicines to treat novel H1N1 infection?Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with novel H1N1 flu virus. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. During the current pandemic, the priority use for influenza antiviral drugs is to treat severe influenza illness (for example hospitalized patients) and people who are sick who have a condition that places them at high risk for serious flu-related complications. What is CDC’s recommendation regarding "
swine flu parties"
Swine flu parties"
are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has novel H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity novel H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease. CDC does not recommend "
swine flu parties"
as a way to protect against novel H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current novel H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus. CDC recommends that people with novel H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
Contamination & Cleaning How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and right102870doorknobs)?Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface. What kills influenza virus?Influenza virus is destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols are effective against human influenza viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time. For example, wipes or gels with alcohol in them can be used to clean hands. The gels should be rubbed into hands until they are dry. What if soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed in my facility?Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands. What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination? Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. How should waste disposal be handled to prevent the spread of influenza virus?To prevent the spread of influenza virus, it is recommended that tissues and other disposable items used by an infected person be thrown in the trash. Additionally, persons should wash their hands with soap and water after touching used tissues and similar waste. What household cleaning should be done to prevent the spread of influenza virus?left48260To prevent the spread of influenza virus it is important to keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label. How should linens, eating utensils and dishes of persons infected with influenza virus be handled?Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick do not need to be cleaned separately, but importantly these items should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Linens (such as bed sheets and towels) should be washed by using household laundry soap and tumbled dry on a hot setting. Individuals should avoid “hugging” laundry prior to washing it to prevent contaminating themselves. Individuals should wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub immediately after handling dirty laundry. Eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap. Exposures Not Thought to Spread Novel H1N1 Flu Can I get infected with novel H1N1 virus from eating or preparing pork?No. Novel H1N1 viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get infected with novel HIN1 virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe. Is there a risk from drinking water?Tap water that has been treated by conventional disinfection processes does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. Current drinking water treatment regulations provide a high degree of protection from viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of novel H1N1 flu virus to conventional drinking water treatment processes. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels typically used in drinking water treatment are adequate to inactivate highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as novel H1N1 would also be similarly inactivated by chlorination. To date, there have been no documented human cases of influenza caused by exposure to influenza-contaminated drinking water. Can novel H1N1 flu virus be spread through water in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational water venues?Influenza viruses infect the human upper respiratory tract. There has never been a documented case of influenza virus infection associated with water exposure. Recreational water that has been treated at CDC recommended disinfectant levels do not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of novel H1N1 influenza virus to chlorine and other disinfectants used in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational venues. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels recommended by CDC (1–3 parts per million [ppm or mg/L] for pools and 2–5 ppm for spas) are adequate to disinfect avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as novel H1N1 virus would also be similarly disinfected by chlorine. Can novel H1N1 influenza virus be spread at recreational water venues outside of the water? Yes, recreational water venues are no different than any other group setting. The spread of this novel H1N1 flu is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Background Information on Influenza in Pigs Influenza A viruses are found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses and seals. Pigs can be infected with both human and avian influenza viruses in addition to swine influenza viruses. Infected pigs get symptoms similar to humans, such as cough, fever and runny nose. Because pigs are susceptible to avian, human and swine influenza viruses, they potentially may be infected with influenza viruses from different species (e.g., ducks and humans) at the same time. If this happens, it is possible for the genes of these viruses to mix and create a new virus. This type of major change in the influenza A viruses is known as antigenic shift. Antigenic shift results when a new influenza A subtype to which most people have little or no immune protection infects humans. If this new virus causes illness in people and can be transmitted easily from person to person, an influenza pandemic can occur. Swine Flu in Pigs How does swine flu spread among pigs? Swine flu viruses are thought to be spread mostly through close contact among pigs and possibly from contaminated objects moving between infected and uninfected pigs. Herds with continuous swine flu infections and herds that are vaccinated against swine flu may have sporadic disease, or may show only mild or no symptoms of infection. What are signs of swine flu in pigs? Signs of swine flu in pigs can include sudden onset of fever, depression, coughing (barking), discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, eye redness or inflammation, and going off feed. How common is swine flu among pigs? H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely. Outbreaks among pigs normally occur in colder weather months (late fall and winter) and sometimes with the introduction of new pigs into susceptible herds. Studies have shown that the swine flu H1N1 is common throughout pig populations worldwide, with 25 percent of animals showing antibody evidence of infection. In the U.S. studies have shown that 30 percent of the pig population has antibody evidence of having had H1N1 infection. More specifically, 51 percent of pigs in the north-central U.S. have been shown to have antibody evidence of infection with swine H1N1. Human infections with swine flu H1N1 viruses are rare. There is currently no way to differentiate antibody produced in response to flu vaccination in pigs from antibody made in response to pig infections with swine H1N1 influenza. While H1N1 swine viruses have been known to circulate among pig populations since at least 1930, H3N2 influenza viruses did not begin circulating among US pigs until 1998. The H3N2 viruses initially were introduced into the pig population from humans. The current swine flu H3N2 viruses are closely related to human H3N2 viruses. Is there a vaccine for swine flu? Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu. The seasonal influenza vaccine will likely help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses. CDC Interim Guidance for People who have Close Contact with Pigs in Non-commercial Settings: Preventing the Spread of Influenza. A Viruses, Including the Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus As of June 26, 2009, the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus has not been found in any pigs within the United States, but has been detected in pigs on a farm in Alberta, Canada. This interim guidance is issued with the goal of preventing the spread of this novel virus or any other influenza (flu) virus from people to pigs and from pigs to people. The following interim recommendations are based on what are deemed minimal precautions for protecting people exposed to pigs known or suspected to have influenza on premises not used for commercial production (e.g. small backyard or hobby farms, zoo settings including petting zoos, homes with pet pigs) AND for protecting pigs from people with influenza. Recognizing the signs of flu in pigs Flu viruses are thought to spread from infected people and pigs to other people and pigs mostly through coughing or sneezing, and through contact with surfaces contaminated by flu viruses. To prevent flu viruses from spreading between people and pigs, it is important for people working with pigs to recognize the signs of flu in pigs. Typically a combination of signs will occur together in infected pigs. Signs of flu in pigs can include any of the following: sudden onset of fever lethargy, lack of alertness going off feed (poor appetite) coughing (barking) discharge from the nose or eyes, eye redness or inflammation sneezing breathing difficulties If a pig is showing these signs, even mildly, you should call your veterinarian. Do not allow sick pigs to enter your farm or facility and do not move sick pigs off your property. Recognizing the signs of flu in people To prevent spread of flu viruses from people to pigs, you should also be aware of the signs of flu in people. Flu-like symptoms in people can include any of the following: fever cough sore throat runny or stuffy nose body aches headache chills fatigue possibly vomiting or diarrhea Preventing spread of flu viruses from pigs to people If possible, people should avoid getting close (within 6 feet) to pigs known or suspected to be infected and/or their environment. However, if you must come in contact with pigs known or suspected to be infected, or their environment, you should use appropriate protective measures and practice good personal hygiene. When entering barns or areas where sick pigs are present, wear protective clothing. This can include disposable coveralls or barn clothes that are laundered after each use and shoes or boots that can be disinfected. This will limit your chances of getting flu from the pigs and from spreading flu virus to other people or pigs. Barn clothes should ideally be laundered at the barn. If clothes must be taken home they should be placed in a plastic bag and laundered separately from non-work family clothing. When working around sick pigs, you should avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, nose, and mouth. Ideally, you should wear goggles and a disposable NIOSH-certified N-95 (or greater) filtering facepiece respirator. Disposable gloves or gloves that can be disinfected after use should be worn. Disposable gloves should be taken off by turning them inside out over the hand and placed in the trash after use. Hands should be washed after contact with animals or their environments, equipment and surfaces that are possibly contaminated, and after removing gloves and/or contaminated clothing. Hands should be washed thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and running water after gloves are removed. Use alcohol-based gel hand cleaners* if soap and water are not available. Commonly used disinfectants, such as quaternary ammonium compounds and 10% bleach solutions, will kill flu viruses. Equipment and surfaces that have been in contact with sick pigs should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with products registered for use against flu viruses. Steps to take if you develop flu-like symptoms If you become ill with flu-like symptoms you should take the following steps: Seek medical care or advice. Your healthcare provider will decide if testing or treatment is needed. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you were in contact with pigs. Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). Practice good personal hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also effective*. Persons at higher risk for complications from flu Certain groups of people are at increased risk of becoming severely ill with influenza. These groups include children younger than 5 years, persons 65 years and older, and pregnant women. Also included are persons of any age who have certain medical conditions (including those immunosuppressed because of medications or HIV). Individuals in these groups may choose to avoid direct animal contact. Persons at increased risk for having severe illness from influenza and household contacts of these persons should get seasonal flu vaccine every year. Preventing spread of flu virus from people to pigs Influenza is occasionally transmitted from people to pigs. If you have been diagnosed with flu or if you develop flu-like symptoms, take the steps listed above: seek medical care, limit your contact with others, and practice good personal hygiene. In addition to limiting your contact with people, you should avoid contact with pigs. You should also contact your veterinarian if you note signs of flu in a pig. Notify your veterinarian if the pig became ill two weeks before or after contacting a person with flu-like symptoms.