Program Note: Tune in tonight for an update on the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Special to CNN
The rapid spread of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (also known as swine flu) from Mexico to at least 19 other countries in less than 10 days is a cause of major concern.
It emphasizes the need for the public to become familiar with how influenza is spread and which preventive measures they can use to reduce their chances of becoming infected.
Although little information is available at this time, it appears that this influenza virus spreads from one person to another in the same way as other influenza viruses - by "droplet spread."
Respiratory droplets are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes and expels droplets of fluid. Those droplets travel short distances (usually less than three feet) through the air and can be deposited on the mouth or in the nose of people or on surfaces.
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