Swine flu prevention tips - keep your family safe
The key is prevention, and there are several ways to prevent swine flu. The tips are basic illness etiquette, but in times like this, everyone could use a refresher course.

First and foremost, if you're sick - stay home. Don't go to work or school, and certainly don't send your child to school if he or she is exhibiting signs of a fever, coughing or sneezing, and difficulty breathing. In addition, stay home for two days after your symptoms have disappeared. Sounds elementary but we all know people who go to work or school when they are visibly sick.

Second, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing and wash your hands frequently. You should be doing this anyway! Be vigilant about reminding kids to wash their hands as well.

If you are having trouble breathing, you should definitely head to the hospital. If you are experiencing mild symptoms, then stay home to avoid infecting other people at the hospital or doctor's office. You can always request a mask if you're in a waiting room.

Don't be alarmed if health officials examine you wearing masks. It's Prevention 101, and nothing personal. Also, just because doctors are wearing masks doesn't mean everyone has to have one. They are the ones who are in close contact to the swine flu should it appear in patients.

Now hear this: don't be afraid of pork products! There has been talk of pork bans, and indeed some countries have banned pork products from the US and Mexico. If you cook pork properly and thoroughly, the virus will be killed and you will not be infected. Make sure you cook it to 160 degrees.

If you have plans to travel to Mexico, you might want to reconsider any immediate travel plans. This is always easier said than done, and unless you have traveler's insurance it's likely you will lose some money. On the other hand, it's the most effective method of prevention! In any case, check with your airline to see if they have posted any news or are offering any rescheduling options.

This is a serious health crisis, and the primary reason is because the individuals who have died from the virus are seemingly healthy individuals in their 20s to 40s. Health officials have stated this could mean that this particular swine flu is a new virus. It is also important to note that the people afflicted with the swine flu in the US have been to Mexico recently or have had contact with those who have. While you never really know where the lady in line behind you at the grocery store has been lately, it's probably not too likely she's carrying the virus. There's no need to lock yourself inside and avoid contact with the general

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