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Indiana State Department of Health > Reports & News > 2009 Influenza A Q&A 2009 Influenza A Q&A

What are the symptoms of Influenza A?
The symptoms of the flu virus in this outbreak are similar to normal seasonal influenza.  Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches.  Some people have also reported runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Symptoms usually appear about 2-7 days after exposure.  People generally can spread flu viruses from 1-2 days before symptoms start to about 7 days after, but scientists are not exactly sure how long people may shed the currently circulating swine flu virus.

How does flu spread?
Human-to-human transmission of this flu occurs in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Can people catch the flu from eating pork?
No. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get Influenza A from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products are safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills bacteria and viruses.

What medications are available to treat flu infections in humans?
There are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir.

Does getting the seasonal flu shot protect me from catching this flu virus?
The seasonal flu vaccine will NOT protect against the flu. However, the seasonal flu is circulating in Indiana, so health officials recommend getting the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible.

How do I prevent the spread of flu?
The best way to prevent transmission of flu is to avoid contact with ill individuals and practice good hand hygiene. Stay home and away from others if you become ill.

How do I get more information about this flu?
You can go to the CDC website at or to the Indiana State Department of Health website at You may also visit the World Health Organization website at

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