WASHINGTON (April 27, 2009)--The acting head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people can best protect themselves against the swine flu threat by taking precautions they were taught as children, such as frequently washing their hands.
Dr. Richard Besser also said Monday the U.S. government is being "extremely aggressive" in the steps it has taken, or is considering, to protect the American public, but he said that in the meantime, the best response is to do "the things we learned when we were little," like covering one's mouth when coughing and staying home with a fever.
Besser said he didn't think he would personally recommend traveling to parts of Mexico where the new virus has taken hold, but also said no travel ban has been decided upon by federal authorities.
Symptoms of swine flu, which are similar to those of seasonal flu, include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing, and in some cases runny noses, sore throats, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Steps You Can Take To Stay Healthy
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Try To Avoid Close Contact With Sick People
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.