Concerning the H1N1
Flu (Swine Flu)
As of this writing, there are
public transit travel advisories
In accordance with the hygiene practices
advised by the CDC, RT employees have been advised to take
precautions, such as thorough and frequent hand washing
At this time,
NO cases of swine flu have been
reported on RT
RT vehicle maintenance staff is using
hospital-grade disinfectant on hand rails, seats and return air ducts
on a daily basis. We have also issued hand sanitizer to all of our
We will keep you advised of any additional
information as it becomes available.
Information About the H1N1/"Swine Flu"
What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory
disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes
outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of
illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may
circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur
during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans.
The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was
first isolated from a pig in 1930.
many swine flu viruses are there?
Like all influenza viruses,
swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian
influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza
viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs,
the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a
mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over
the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At
this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that
have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most
of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1
humans catch swine flu?
Swine flu viruses do not normally
infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have
occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct
exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the
swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one
person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of
apparent swine flu infection in pigs in
in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no
community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus
transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close
contact with the patient.
common is swine flu infection in humans?
In the past, CDC
received reports of approximately one human swine influenza virus
infection every one to two years in the U.S., but from December 2005 through
February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza have
are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine
flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular
seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite
and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny
nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
people catch swine flu from eating pork?
No. Swine influenza
viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza
from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked
pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal
temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other
bacteria and viruses.
does swine flu spread?
Influenza viruses can be directly
transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human
infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when
people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns
and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human
transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in
the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly
person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people
infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by
touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their
mouth or nose.
do we know about human-to-human spread of swine flu?
September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman was
hospitalized for pneumonia and died 8 days later. A swine H1N1 flu
virus was detected. Four days before getting sick, the patient visited
a county fair swine exhibition where there was widespread
influenza-like illness among the swine.
In follow-up studies, 76% of swine exhibitors
tested had antibody evidence of swine flu infection but no serious
illnesses were detected among this group. Additional studies suggest
that one to three health care personnel who had contact with the
patient developed mild influenza-like illnesses with antibody evidence
of swine flu infection.
can human infections with swine influenza be diagnosed?
diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory specimen would
generally need to be collected within the first 4 to 5 days of illness
(when an infected person is most likely to be shedding virus).
However, some persons, especially children, may shed virus for 7 days
or longer. Identification as a swine flu influenza A virus requires
sending the specimen to CDC for laboratory testing.
What medications are available to treat swine flu
infections in humans?
There are four different antiviral drugs that
are licensed for use in the US for the
treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and
zanamivir. While most swine influenza viruses have been susceptible to
all four drugs, the most recent H1N1 influenza viruses isolated from
humans are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine.
Tips to Stay Healthy
Please note that cleaning efforts alone will not
completely prevent the spread of the flu.
What You Can Do
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
most effective steps you can take to prevent catching or spreading the
flu are to follow these simple tips:
Wash your hands often with soap and
water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand
cleaners are also effective
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs
spread that way
Try to avoid close contact with sick people
The CDC advises that influenza is spread mainly
person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people
When you cough or sneeze cover your nose and
mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
If you don't have a tissue, use your upper arm not your hand
If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you
stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep
from infecting them