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Swine Flu is an illness that generally infects pigs (swine). It results in respiratory illness and is very contagious but is rarely disastrous. Typically, humans do not get swine flu. But, in 2009, the virus (H1N1) affecting humans, seems to have mutated into a combination of swine, avian (bird) and human influenza. It has developed the ability to transfer from human to human.
There are many myths about Swine Flu. This guide lists about its myths, separating facts from the fiction and also revealing frauds that are taking place behind it.
Myth: Swine is pork, so eating pork will result in swine flu
Actual Fact: Firstly, the current swine flu is not being transmitted by pigs. It is called “swine flu” because its DNA looks like it could have been in pigs at some point. The virus causing swine flu contains a mixture of swine, avian and human influenza. Secondly, swine flu is a respiratory disease, not a food-borne disease.
Myth: Swine flu is spread from a Mexican only
Actual Fact: The first break-out of H1N1 virus was in Mexico. Even people from different who stayed there at that time also caught-up with swine flu. So we can’t say swine flu is transmitted by Mexicans only. It is a pandemic disease.
Myth: Swine flu comes by touching a pig
Actual Fact: Pigs are not the only reason for the spread of swine flu virus. The virus itself has evolved so that it is communicable from person to person.
Myth: Wearing a face mask will completely protect humans from swine flu
Actual Fact: According to a few studies, wearing masks will be beneficial to protect oneself from the virus. But face masks will not give full protection from catching swine flu.
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Myth: Swine flu is more fatal than seasonal flu
Actual Fact: In a typical flu season, 30,000 or more American deaths are attributed to seasonal flu. Fewer than two dozen swine flu-related deaths worldwide have been reported as of spring 2009. While the swine flu could become a more deadly flu, the high level of awareness and the steps people are taking to prevent its spread may keep it from becoming nearly so deadly as seasonal flu. So it cannot be declared as deadly as seasonal flu now.
Myth: Swine flu vaccine can be purchased on the Internet
Actual Fact: Many fallacious and spam e-mails are started to circulate with the break of swine flu. The Better Business Bureau and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain have both declared these are counterfeit acts and asked people not to carry away with those fraudulent mails.
Myth: Swine flu can infect computers also
Actual Fact: It is very comical myth about swine flu. Computer viruses are just software that affect its normal functionality. So it cannot be transferred to humans, neither swine flu virus to computers.
Myth: If you catch swine flu, then family pets may be at risk, too.
Actual Fact: Viruses rarely pass between human beings and cats or dogs.
So people should be aware about all these myths to avoid misconceptions about swine flu.