CDC says available antivirals will help Swine Flu patients - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

CDC says available antivirals will help Swine Flu patients

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WASHINGTON. -  The Swine flu is already spreading quickly through classrooms, and a vaccine is still at least a month away, but experts say there are some things you can do.

"Frequent washing of hands, avoiding shaking hands with people who are sick, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough," advises Mark Rosati of the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Seeking medical treatment is also important, but the CDC is putting out new guidelines for the use of anti-virals like tamiflu, now limiting them to people at high risk.

"Most children, adolescence and adults with influenza do not need an antiviral medicine. It's just those people with risk conditions where the influenza illness might get worse," advises the CDC's Schuchat.

The CDC says more frequent use could cause resistance and make things worse, in a season already expected to be bad.

"It's going to be a busy and long season and we need to be prepared for next several months and also this spring," said Anne Schuchat, M.D. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is the strain doesn't appear to have changed since last spring, but the CDC says it is spreading fast, starting in the Southeast.

A vacant dorm at Emory University now houses infected students.

While clear across the country, at Washington State University, more than 2,000 may have been infected.

The number of cases of suspected swine flu dropped dramatically at Washington State University over the long Labor Day weekend, but school officials are closely watching the numbers as students return.

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