We are in no doubt plagued by another deadly virus that has sparked numerous concerns from all across the globe. With its threat to become a global pandemic, health authorities have been scrambling to find ways aimed at prevention and treatment. Swine flu is actually one of the many type A influenza viruses. This type of virus rarely infects humans, and the small number of cases in the past has even shown that it occurred after a person had direct contact with pigs.

But the recent virus has taken the world by surprise. The new strain of swine flu virus has actually mutated, and it now contains DNA sequences from both human and avian influenza viruses, as well as other strains of swine influenza And what’s worse, it can spread from person to person without any direct contact with pigs.

The swine flu virus causes symptoms similar to that of typical flu. An infected person may have fever, cough, sore throat, body malaise or aches, fatigue and chills. Some individuals also reported other symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting. While these may sound treatable, the new strain can cause fatal respiratory problems a week after the initial symptoms are noticed.

This explains why efforts at understanding and containing the virus are under way, and on a global scale at that. While our authorities are doing all they can to stop the spread of infection, it is the most opportune time to take measures to reduce the risk of transmission of infection. We have to be proactive in protecting our families, especially our children from this dangerous strain of flu.

Take time to be up to date with any development in your area. You may get reliable information from your local health department or even websites such as the CDC. Practice proper hand washing, and make sure that your kids follow suit. Be certain that your kids also practice hand washing in schools, or in other areas outside your home.

Hand washing is also necessary after sneezing or coughing so that in the event of an infection, the spread of disease can be reduced. Let your kids know that infection can be spread by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Thus, they should avoid doing this because the germs that they get from the things or persons they touch can enter their bodies that way.

Tell your kids to avoid crowds, and to stay away from individuals who are ill. As long as your local health department has not issued a mandate to temporarily close down schools, you may still allow your child to attend class. Although the virus is a threat to everyone, it is also impractical to keep our kids confined in our homes indefinitely. Without any real threat in your area, you can still do your usual routines but with some modifications.

It may not be the right time to hang out in crowded places when the swine flu virus can easily spread through direct contact. Try to think of ways on how you can have fun without going to places with large crowds. Talk to your kids on what fun activities they want to do at home because by doing so you are not exposing your kids to viruses in public.

If you notice anybody in your home who has flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider right away. Proper evaluation and treatment needs to be done first to ensure that everyone is safe. We all need to do our parts in the battle against swine flu, and that includes preventing the spread of infection. At this time when everything seems uncertain, we just have to stay on the safe side when we can.