updated 4/26/2009 6:26:28 PM ET 2009-04-26T22:26:28

A swine flu outbreak appears to have killed dozens of people in Mexico and caused mild illnesses in the United States.

The Atlanta-based federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Department of Health are recommending several steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • If you have flu symptoms, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the disease. Do not return until two days after your symptoms are gone.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands frequently.
  • Go to the hospital if you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, but if your symptoms are mild stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others at the hospital.
  • Masks may be recommended for health care workers, family members and others who come in close contact with swine flu patients, but there is no need for the general public to wear masks.
  • It is safe to eat properly handled pork. Cook it to at least 160 degrees.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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