Swine Flu and 2009 H1N1

The most common swine flu virus is the H1N1 subtype, but other subtypes include the H1N2, H3N1, H1N3 …

Symptoms in humans range from typical flu like symptoms such as coughing, fever, sore throat and aching muscles to more serious pneumonia and other respiratory problems which have the potential for developing into life threatening conditions.

Who is at risk of Swine Flu

Swine Flu viruses do not normally affect humans, but where human infection does occur, it usually follows close contact with pigs. Some closed group instances of human-to-human infection have been recorded.

Because the swine flu virus is killed at temperatures of 70°C / 160°F, pork and other meat from pigs is safe to eat if it has been carefully cooked.

What can I do to prevent Swine Flu

There is no vaccine to prevent Swine Flu, but Laboratory tests have shown that the swine influenza virus can be fought with antiviral medication.

Swine influenza is thought to spread in the same way as seasonal flu. Seasonal influenza viruses are usually spread through coughing or sneezing by infected people.

People who are infected by a flu virus are advised to limit their contact with other people as much as possible to avoid the risk of spreading the disease further. Good personal hygiene, such as covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and regularly washing hands are also thought to help protect those around you.


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.