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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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Swine Flu FAQ

Answers to your questions about swine flu.

I had a flu vaccine this season. Am I protected against swine flu?

No . The 2009-2010 seasonal flu vaccine did not protect against the new swine flu virus.

But the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. Don't wait for this vaccine if you are at high risk of serious flu. The 2009 H1N1 virus is still circulating. While there have been few infections in 2010, hospitalizations and deaths continue.

How can I prevent swine flu infection?

The CDC recommends taking these steps:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Scrub for at least 20 seconds and rinse thoroughly.
  • If soap and water are not available, wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand gel. Rub your hands together until the alcohol dries completely.
  • Avoid close contact -- that is, being within 6 feet -- with people who have flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. That's not easy to do, so keep those hands clean.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms -- fever plus at least cough or sore throat or other flu symptoms -- stay home for seven days after symptoms begin or until you've been symptom-free for 24 hours -- whichever is longer.
  • Wear a face mask (consider using an N95 respirator) if you must come into close contact with a sick person. "Close contact" means within 6 feet. Note: There is no definitive proof that a face mask prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a face mask to prevent infection.
  • Wear an N95 respirator if helping a sick person with a nebulizer, inhaler, or other respiratory treatment. Note: There is no definitive proof that a respirator prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a respirator to prevent infection.
  • People who have or are suspected of having swine flu should wear a face mask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with other household members, when outside the home, or when near children or infants.
  • Breastfeeding mothers with swine flu symptoms should express their breast milk, and the child should be fed by someone else.

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