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Frequently Asked Questions about Swine Flu

MANITOBA – The Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer indicated that provincial officials are continuing to work with Manitoba health-care providers and regional health authorities to watch for cases of severe respiratory illness that require hospital care, especially in travellers returning from Mexico.

Manitoba’s Chief Medical Health officer, Dr. Joel Kettner said in an update on April 29 that there is no sign of the swine flu in this province. He also stressed that there is still no need for Manitobans to visit a health care facility simply because they’ve been travelling.

However, while there have been no cases of swine flu in Manitoba, hospitals across the province are on high alert for patients with symptoms consistent with the new outbreak of the disease. Dr. Kettner said the province has stockpiled about 200,000 doses of antivirals.

As with any infectious respiratory disease, Manitobans are encouraged to use routine precautionary measures:

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you get sick, stay at home. Do not go to work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to reduce the spread of germs.

According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include: fever (greater than 37.8ºC), sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, stuffy nose, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with this type of influenza. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should immediately contact their health-care provider. Any travel history should also be provided to the health-care provider.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued travel health notices about swine flu in Mexico, California and Texas.

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