Gearing up for the start of a new school year can mean preparing to keep your health in check as well, but with swine flu worries continuing to permeate across the country, how can you protect yourself this fall?
Best Prevention Practices
As with the traditional flu, basic recommendations are to wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
What About a Vaccine?
But the burning question as the flu season draws near is whether a vaccine will be available.
The first doses of the swine flu vaccine should be ready by mid-October, The Wall Street Journal reports. That’s just after the start of the traditional flu season.
But the vaccine may only be given to those with the highest need first, like the sick, elderly, children and health care workers. As new batches of the vaccine are made, they’ll be made more widely available, but it may not be until later in the season.
The swine flu shot won't protect you against seasonal flu, however, and the seasonal flu shot won't protect you against swine flu, so you’ll need both shots, the Journal notes. Clinical trials are currently being conducted to test the vaccine’s safety, but experts believe it will be safe since it’s similar to the traditional flu vaccine.
Spotting Swine Flu
Basic swine flu symptoms aren’t much different from those of the regular seasonal flu which causes a fever, body aches, sore throat and a runny nose. But swine flu can also cause stomach problems, vomiting and diarrhea, which are rare in adults with the common flu.