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Dear CDC

Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393

November 5, 2009

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


Dear CDC,

Yesterday there was a news story about a cat in Iowa catching swine flu and a ferret in Nebraska died from it! Since, from what I understand, this disease started in pigs in the first place the Midwest is starting to feel downright unsafe! I’ve given up eating pork (and won’t have difficulty adding either ferret or feline to this list), but are there other precautions I should be taking? I know about washing my hands a lot and not leaving the house unless I have to. Anything else I should do? Do you think some other state is safer? Should I move? If I do move should I leave my cat behind to be safe?

This H1N1 is some scary stuff. I’d rather not get it, but honestly if I have to choose between me or the cat the choice is not hard. I like my cat and all, but I’m not one of those crazy cat people.

Happy Guy Fawkes day!


Sincerely,


Christopher L. Jorgensen

Sponsor:

Reply:

Department of Health & Human Services
Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

November 30, 2009

Dear Mr. Jorgensen:

Thank you for your inquiry into CDC-INFO. In response to your request for information on H1N1, we are pleased to provide you with the following information.

There is no one state that is safer than another concerning contracting the 2009 H1N1 virus.

H1N1 virus in pigs is mostly a respiratory (breathing tract) infection.  Few reports exist to indicate that the virus enters the bloodstream or is found elsewhere in the pig’s body.  So, it’s unlikely that swine influenza virus (SIV) would be found in pork or pork products.

Pigs with active SIV infection would not pass inspection and would not be allowed to be sold for human consumption.  Pigs with SIV infection are known to shed virus for a short time period.  But, they cease shedding within 1 week.  So, a pig that has recovered from SIV infection would no longer have the virus.

If virus is present, it should be inactivated (killed) at normal cooking temperatures.

Human infection with H1N1 swine flu viruses is rare.  In the past several years, on average, CDC has received about 1 flu virus isolate from a human that tests positive for H1N1 each year. Most commonly, these cases have had direct exposure to pigs, for example:
* Workers in the pork production industry; or
* Those who work in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs.

The spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to happen in the same way that seasonal influenza (flu) spreads within homes or communities.  Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people who are sick with flu.  People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it, and then touching their mouth or nose before washing their hands.

The best way to protect yourself from H1N1 is to be vaccinated.  Until vaccination, the best way to help fight 2009 H1N1 influenza (flu) is to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away.  Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.  Stay home if you’re sick, and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Certain pets are susceptible (able to get) to human influenza (flu) viruses.  This includes:
* pigs,
* ferrets, and
* birds.

Many animal species are also susceptible to other flu viruses.  This includes:
* horses,
* dogs, and
* marine animals.

But, these flu viruses have mostly remained within their own species.

To date, several pigs, some turkeys, and 2 ferrets have likely been infected with 2009 H1N1 virus from exposure to infected humans.

Thank you for contacting CDC.  For Future inquiries, please contact the CDC-INFO National Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO, e-mail cdcinfo@cdc.gov or visit http://www.cdc.gov if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,
CDC-INFO National Contact Center
1-800-CDC-INFO
National Center for Health Marketing
Division of eHealth Marketing
Centers for Disease control and Prevention

 

CDC website: cdc.gov

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This is starting to look the way I would like it to. Colors will be based on final header image.

By Christopher L. Jorgensen

Website: http://jackassletters.com

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