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Symptoms, diagnosis and prevention for swine flu

MEXICO CITY – In response to the swine flu outbreak that has left dozens dead in Mexico and spread to other countries, officials here launched a campaign to inform the public on virus symptoms, prevention and treatment.

The following information was provided by the Mexican Ministry of Health.

SYMPTOMS: Sudden fever above 38 degrees (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), cough, headache, aching joints, nasal congestion and general fatigue.

DIAGNOSIS: Clinical examination of secretions from the nose and mouth in the first 24-72 hours after presenting symptoms, and a study of blood samples to detect existence of influenza virus.

TREATMENT: In confirmed cases, Mexican authorities have provided patients with flu drugs Seltamivir or Zanamivir under strict medical supervision, and warn against side effects due to misuse.

The Mexican government said that the antiviral drugs would only be administered if infection is confirmed.

Authorities have reportedly some million doses on hand, although local media warn that pharmacies have run out of treatments.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES: Wear a mask. Do not greet someone with a kiss or handshake; do not share food, cutlery or glasses. Ventilate homes and offices, keep clean common items such as telephones.

AFP / Expatica