What do you need to know about Swine flu
A never-before-seen strain of swine flu has turned killer in Mexico and is causing milder illness in the United States and elsewhere. While authorities say it’s not time to panic, they are taking steps to stem the spread and also urging people to pay close attention to the latest health warnings and take their own precautions.
“Individuals have a key role to play,” Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.
Here’s what you need to know:
Q: How do I protect myself and family?
A: For now, take common sense precautions. Cover your coughs and sneezes, with a tissue that you throw away or by sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand. Wash hands frequently; if soap and water aren’t available, hand gels can substitute. Stay home if you’re sick and keep children home from school if they are.
Q: How easy is it to catch this virus?
A: Scientists don’t yet know if it takes fairly close or prolonged contact with someone who’s sick, or if it’s more easily spread. But in general, flu viruses spread through uncovered coughs and sneezes or-and this is important-by touching your mouth or nose with unwashed hands. Flu viruses can live on surfaces for several hours, like a doorknob just touched by someone who sneezed into his hand.
Q: In Mexico, officials are handing out face masks. Do I need one?
A: the CDC says there’s not good evidence that masks really help outside of healthcare settings. It’s safer just to avoid close contact with someone who’s sick and avoid crowded gatherings in places where swine flu is know to be spreading. But if you can’t do that, CDC guidelines say it’s OK to consider a mask, just don’t let it substitute for good precautions.
Q: Is swine flu treatable?
A: Yes with the flu drugs Tamiflu or Relenza, but not with two older flu medications.
Q: Is there enough
Q: Should I take Tamiflu as a precaution if I’m not sick yet?
Q: how big is my risk?
A:For most people, very low. Outside of Mexico, so far clusters of illnesses seem related to Mexican travel. New York City’s cluster, for instance, consists of students and family members at one school where some students came back ill from spring break in Mexico.
Q: Why are people dying in Mexico and not here?
A: That’s a mystery. First understand that no one really knows just how many people in Mexico are dying of this flu strains, or how many have it. Only a fraction of the suspected deaths have been tested and confirmed as swine flu, and some initially suspected cases were caused by something else.
Q: Should I cancel planned trip to Mexico?
A: The US did issue a travel advisory Monday discouraging nonessential travel there.
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: They’re similar to regular human flu – a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Q: How do I know if I should see a doctor? Maybe my symptoms are from something else like pollen?
A: health authorities say if you live in place where swine flu cases have been confirmed, or you recently travelled to Mexico, and you have flulike symptoms, ask your doctor if you need treatment or to tested. Allergies won’t cause a fever, and run-on-the-mill stomach bugs won’t be accompanied by respiratory symptoms, notes Dr. Wayne Reynolds of Newport News, Va., spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Q: Is there a vaccine to prevent this new infection?
A: No. And CDC’s initial testing suggests that last winter flu shot didn’t offer any cross-protection.
Q: How long would it take to produce a Vaccine?
A: A few months. T
Q: What is swine flu?
A: Pigs spread their own stains of influenza and every so often people catch one, usually after contacts with the animals. This new strain is a mix of pig viruses with some human and bird viruses. Unlike more typical swine flu, it is spreading person-to-person. A 1976 outbreak of another unusual swine flu at Fort Dix, New Jersey, prompted a problematic mass vaccination campaign, but that time the flu fizzled out.
Q: And whatever happened to bird flu? Wasn’t that supposed to be the next pandemic?
A: specialists have long warned that the issue is a never before seen stain that people have little if any natural immunity to, regardless of whether it seems to originate from a bird or a pig. Bird flu hasn’t gone away; scientists are tracking it too.
Fight AH1N1 virus by signing ‘Happy Birthday’… twice
Your voice does not exactly fight the virus, but singing Happy Birthday at least twice while washing you hands can. Experts recommend that often and proper hand washing can prevent you from contracting viral infections, or spreading them when you have it. Follow these simple steps to fight against AH1N1 virus.And while you’re at it, you can practice singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ Proper hand washingThe entire process should be between 40 to 60 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand rubs when water is not available. Spread this email to your friends. Print the attached image and teach your family the best defence against any virus.
Practical tips to keep swine flu at bay during RamadanFasting during the Holy month of Ramadan cleanses our body. However, it also lowers our system, making us more susceptible to infections and sickness. What can I do to protect myself from catching H1N1 influenza virus?The main route of transmission of the new virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and taking the following measures
• Maintain good basic hygiene, for example, washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face or other people• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and use a tissue when possible • Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully• Avoid touching your mouth and nose• Clean hard surfaces (eg door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product • Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible• Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
If you do have flu-like symptoms, follow these simple advices:
• Stay off work or school and minimise contact with other people. • While it’s tradition to buss friends and family (kissing on both cheeks), avoid doing so to avoid getting infected or infecting your loved ones.• Drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration. • Take over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen to help with symptoms. • Inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with other people For more information about AH1N1 influenza virus and how to protect yourself and your loved ones, call our Doctor on Phone toll-free helpline: 800 440 4040
Swine flu and you child at school
One of the main battlegrounds in the fight against an expected resurgence of swine flu this fall will be the schoolyard, a place where the disease could, well, go viral. People between 6 months and 24 years old appear to be particularly vulnerable to the swine flu virus, known as H1N1. And there are several reasons to think that schools could be hotbeds of infection:
Large groups of children and young adults? Check. In close proximity? Check. Lax sanitary standards? Check.
Teach your child to avoid contacting the virus while at schoolFrequent washing of hands - It is recommended that hands be washed every 2 hours especially if exposed to surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks where viruses and bacteria can live from 20 minutes up to 2 hours or more. Wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. You child needs to get plenty of sleep and physical activity, drink water, and eat good food to help them stay healthy. A healthy child has better immune system to fight of viruses and bacterias.Teach them to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze—and have them throw the tissue away after they use it. Remind them to not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
நன்றி:bupa middle ஈஸ்ட்.