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Swine Flu Q&A

What should I do? Wash your hands. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when you’re out in public; you might touch something which a sick person touched or coughed on. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

¶ What are swine flu’s symptoms? The swine flu has the same symptoms as influenza: coughing, a sore throat, fever, headache, tiredness, and aches. Less common symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Fever, cough, and respiratory illness are the primary symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control said in a press briefing.

¶ Can swine flu be treated? Yes. According to the CDC, H1N1 is susceptible to antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). MIT Medical stocks both. Treatment with antivirals will shorten the duration of illness by a day or two, said Howard M. Heller, MIT Medical Chief of Internal Medicine.

¶ I feel sick. Should I go to Medical? Yes. Especially if you think you might have influenza, you should call the Medical Department for an appointment (617-253-4481). If none are available, you will be directed to MIT Medical’s urgent care (open 24 hours a day, free for students).

¶ I don’t feel sick. Should I go to Medical anyway? No. Try not to hang out around sick people during flu season. MIT Medical’s Urgent Care counts as “around sick people.”

¶ Should I go to Mexico? Avoid nonessential travel to Mexico, the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday night in an advisory available online at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/. If you’ve recently come back from Mexico and don’t feel ill, you’re probably fine.