KATHMANDU: Swine flu has reached Nepal. Here are symptoms and precautions one should take to counter the flu.

Symptoms of Swine Flu

The symptoms of swine flu are usually like those of regular seasonal flu and include:

•headache

•chills

•cough

•fever

•loss of appetite

•aches

•fatigue

•runny nose

•sneezing

•watery eyes

•throat irritation

•nausea and vomiting

•diarrhea

•in people with chronic conditions, pneumonia may develop

Precautions Against Swine Flu

Good standard flu prevention techniques are recommended to protect yourself against swine flu:

•Get a regular seasonal flu vaccination. It might not help against this specific strain, but it won't hurt.

•Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot running water. If hot water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.

•When you cough and sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. Wash your hands afterwards.

•Avoid being near others who might be sick.

•Stay home if you are sick, to avoid affecting others.

Precautions for Travellers

•Before you travel, find out what vaccines you will need and where to get them. Visit your family doctor or a travel health clinic at least six weeks before your departure date.

•If you get sick when you are travelling, seek medical assistance.

•If you are sick when you return to Nepal, or have been near someone who is, you must tell a customs or quarantine office, who will decide if you need further medical assessment.

•If you get sick after you return to Nepal, see a health care provider. Be sure to tell him/her the countries you visited, if you were sick while away and any medical care or treatment your received.