The Lung Association is monitoring the situation regarding swine flu (swine influenza H1N1), the severe respiratory illness which has infected people in parts of Mexico, the USA, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and possibly New Zealand. The World Health Organization is calling this outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern."

We encourage Canadians to watch out for flu symptoms and to keep their asthma symptoms well-managed. If you notice these flu symptoms and you've been to Mexico in the past 2 weeks, or if your asthma is getting out of control, see your healthcare provider:

- fever
- tiredness
- muscle aches
- lack of appetite
- cough

Other possible symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The Lung Association also reminds people to follow the steps we always recommend to limit the spread of germs:

- Wash your hands properly- this web page shows all the steps to proper handwashing . It's especially important to wash your hands after you cough or sneeze.

- If you aren't near a sink, use an alcohol-based cleaner to wash your hands. Use enough alcohol-based cleaner to keep your hands wet for a minimum of 25 seconds.

Cover your coughs and sneezes- cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand.

- If you cough up phlegm (mucus), spit it into a tissue, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands properly.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

- Stay at home if you are sick.

Travellers should read and follow the Public Health Agency of Canada's travel advisories about swine flu:

Travel advisory for people travelling to Mexico

Travel advisory for people travelling to California and Texas

Learn more

The Public Health Agency of Canada's public information line for swine flu questions: 1-800-454-8302

The Public Health Agency of Canada's flu website, with information on swine flu : fightflu

More about swine flu from the World Health Organization, including links to regular updates about the disease and FAQs about swine flu

A statement on swine flu from the Public Health Agency of Canada

Instructions on proper handwashing and how to limit the spread of germs

Download a colour poster showing the proper steps to hand washing (PDF)

Source
The Lung AssociationFurther information on Swine Flu See a Map Of H1N1 Outbreaks See our Mexico Swine Flu Blog

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