Government requests swine flu be called H1-N1 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Government requests swine flu be called H1-N1

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The government requested Tuesday that we no longer call it swine flu since pigs may not even be involved and the virus has a link to birds as well as humans. So now, farm advocates are making two requests: change the name and eat more pork.

"This really isn't swine flu. This is H1-N1 virus and it's very, very important. And it is significant because there are a lot of hardworking families whose livelihood depends on us conveying this message of safety and it's not just simply pork production - it's also grain farmers," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Once again, you cannot get swine flu from eating or handling pork.

Meanwhile, some schools are closing, people are buying face masks and many are cancelling travel plans. So, are we overreacting to the swine flu, or H1-N1?

The Centers for Disease Control reminds us that 36,000 people die from the regular flu every year. So far, all the U.S. cases have been mild and only five people have been hospitalized. Health officials hope that at least this heightened sense of awareness will encourage people with flu like symptoms to get tested.

On HealthWise at 5 Tuesday, we learned the state requires doctors to test for H1-N1, if it is suspected. "State guidelines are if you have a temp 100 or greater, cough or sore throat, of course recent travel to Mexico, or around anybody with an influenza like illness that you go to your physician and let them perform a flu culture on you which is a nasal swab," said Becky Brawley, with the Lubbock Health Department.

Brawley adds that unlike the seasonal flu, some patients may also report nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But the sooner you get tested - the sooner you can get treated with anti-viral medication.

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