Swine Flu symptoms and treatment: Is it safe to eat pork?

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Swine Flu is a respiratory disease in pigs triggered by a virus called H1N1. The new strain of H1N1 is a deadly combination of viruses from pigs, birds and humans. They symptoms of Swine Flu are sudden fever, coughing, extreme exhaustion and muscle aches. There is also diarrhea and vomiting more than normal flu.

Risk factors: Medical experts say that people, who are exposed areas where pigs flock are at risk of contracting the virus. The strains of Swine flu rarely pass on from humans to humans. In rare cases, the virus mutates into a form that can move from one person to another. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak has apparently undergone such a mutation and may stay like that for a longer period of time.

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Can Swine flu be prevented or cured? There is no vaccine which can prevent swine flu. Medicines like Tamiflu and Relenza can be effective, if taken in the early stages of the disease.

Is it safe to eat pork? Swine Flu is not caused by eating pork or its products including salami, ham and sausages. However, it is a good practice to cook pork over 70 degrees C, which kills the virus.

Why is it called swine flu? The virus is called swine flu because one of its surface proteins is similar to viruses that usually infect pigs. Pork industry in the US are putting pressure on the officials to change the name of the disease, because no pig as such have been found infected with this particular illness which has spread among humans.

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