It’s on the television news, on the front page of the newspapers, on the internet and everybody is talking about it at work. Swine flu is coming! Swine flu is here! It is an epidemic! It is a pandemic!

What we do know is that we don’t know how far and how quickly it will spread, how long it will stay around and how many people and businesses it will affect.

And what we also know is that the simple step of washing your hands frequently will help protect you from getting swine flu and prevent the spread of the virus.

The influenza virus – the seasonal variety that comes with the winter months as well as the swine flu – is passed from one person to another when someone sneezes or coughs either into their hand or into the air. The droplets that contain the virus can then be passed to another person in a crowded area or to someone who shakes hands with an infected person or to someone who touches a door knob, handle, telephone, handrail or tool that an infected person has also touched.

Wash your hands before meals, after using the restroom and when you have spent time in public areas such as at a sporting event, at church, in a shopping center and after using public transportation. Remember to keep your hands away from your face – especially your mouth, nose and eyes.

What is good for adults is good for kids as well. Make sure your kids wash up when they come home from school and playing. Tell them to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing their hands so they’ll be thorough enough.

If despite your best efforts to avoid catching a virus you start to experience flu-like symptoms, contact your medical provider for advice.

For more information visit:

CDC: Swine Flu and You

CDC: Influenza porcina (gripe porcina) Datos importantes

CDC: Swine Influenza (Flu)