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|Health Department Offers Advice for Fighting Swine Flu
|Practicing basic hygiene is just one way a local health department official says can ward off the most recent strain of the flu.
Director of Community Health Improvement for the Knox County Health Department, Michelle Fishburn, says protecting yourself from the swine flu is really just like battling any other flu-like symptoms. She suggests frequent hand washing, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and practicing basic good health habits like getting plenty of rest, managing your stress, drinking ample fluids and eating nutritious food as other methods to fighting the flu.
Fishburn tells WGIL the swine flu strain is a little different than a regular flu strain.
"It's a flu that's generally passed obviously between pigs and sometimes from pigs to humans. It's different because it sometimes attacks a different population. We're seeing it attack the younger generation where usually the flu will attack the immunally compromised. So it is slightly different, but the means of protection are the same."
Knox County isn't the only area entity concerned about the recent swine flu going around. Western Illinois University officials have halted all nonessential travel to Mexico, based on an updated travel health warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control. WIU President Al Goldfarb says summer study trips to Mexico, as well as summer exchange programs in Mexico, are on hold until further notice.
Fishburn says right now the department is monitoring all communications with the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health. She says there is no need to panic.
Officials at the Peoria City/County Health Department say they have no word on cases of swine flu in the state at this time. They say the it is not transferred by food and you cannot get swine flu from eating pork products, however, they do recommend cooking pork thoroughly to avoid food-borne illness.
A physician on the campus of the University of Illinois says the health center there has seen a few extra students so far this week and that, so far, school officials aren't advising the university's 41,000 students on campus against travel to Mexico.
A co-owner of Hickory Grove Pork Farm in Gillespie, located in central Illinois, says swine flu presents no risk to people who consume pork. He says swine flu does not exist in hog herds in the United State and that the name is a misnomer because the virus currently affecting humans isn't the same as the one that's affecting hogs in Mexico.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture says swine flu can be tracked into farm facilities on clothing or boots.
For more information on the swine flu, click on either of the following links:
|04 28 09 by Newsroom
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