Okay, I’ve joked about the swine flu, but it’s time to take a somewhat more serious look at it (for the people panicking around the world):

  • It’s a flu.  Yes, it originates from pigs but it can be transmitted to humans in close proximity to pigs.  It can also be transmitted from infected humans to other human just like a regular flu (so the sick person who thinks it’s funny to cough or sneeze on others will probably experience a sudden "worsening" of his symptoms).
    • You cannot get swine flu from eating pork.  It is a respiratory disease, so you’d get it from an infected person/pig’s coughs or sneezes or touching surfaces exposed to the virus (via someone’s coughing/sneezing).  You still need to cook your pork properly though or you still run the risk of sharing fun times with your good buddy Food Poisoning.
  • The symptoms of the swine flu are the same as any other flu.  Fever, chills, headache, body ache, and tiredness (with some possible vomiting from both ends).
  • How do you know if you have the swine flu or a regular flu?  Go to a doctor when you first show signs of the flu and they can run some tests (takes about 24 hours turnaround on the tests).
  • Treatment?  The CDC recommends oseltamivir or zanamivir (antivirals).  There are two other antivirals available, but the CDC says they aren’t effective on the current strain of swine flu spreading about.  These two antivirals are found in the brand name drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza.

For more detailed information, check out the CDC’s helpful guide, Swine Influenza and You.