|Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 frequently asked questions|
1 May 2009
Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed. To prevent spread, people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, and wash their hands regularly.
Early signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea.
Teams are already sending epidemiological evidence but we will know more over the next few days.
Seasonal epidemics occur every year and we are able to treat the virus with seasonal vaccines. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic. It is a new virus and one to which the populations will have no immunity.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization