Swine Flu is Back

August 14, 2012

Swine flu is back and seems to be spreading, find out the details and how to keep your immune system strong

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning fairgoers and the general population that there's been a five-fold increase of cases of a new strain of swine flu – that’s spreading from pigs to people. The case count jumped from 29 several weeks ago to 162 last week, and rising, thanks to a wave of new cases confirmed in Indiana and Ohio, many of them attributed to contact at fairs.

The flu does not seem to be unusually dangerous, like the strain in 2009. Most or all of the cases appear to have spread from pigs to humans, meaning it's not very contagious.

The current flu has mild symptoms and it's not really spreading from person to person. "This is not a pandemic situation," Dr. Joseph Bresee of the CDC told the Associated Press.

Why are swine flu cases increasing so rapidly? Diagnosis of cases has become quicker because the CDC no longer must confirm a case with its own lab; states are now using CDC test kits to confirm cases on their own on, speeding the process along.

Pigs spread flu virus just like people do, with coughing, sneezing and runny noses - so people can get it by touching pigs or being near them.

If you and your family are planning to attend a fair – take precautions, washing your hands and avoid taking food and drinks into livestock barns are the official warnings. Certain populations including pregnant women, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.

Looking to boost your immune system? Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants including vitamin C, which help strengthen the immune system and increase our resistance to other immune invaders. The darker the fruit or vegetable, the more immune boosting and overall health boosting power it has. Getting some sun to boost your vitamin D naturally, as well as avoiding sugary foods and sweets are two other great suggestions to boost immune health.