The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic
KPCC is following the latest news and information about Swine Flu, and providing useful tips on how to prevent it from infecting you. Check back here often as the information is updated regularly.
General H1N1 Information
The most important information to date is the basic health practices to protect yourself, co-workers, and loved ones, and what you should do if you begin exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
What can you do to protect yourself, family, friends, and co-workers from getting sick?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended that we are aware of the everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these steps to protect your health:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home when you get sick to keep others from becoming infected.
- Get a flu shot during flu season.
What should you do if you get sick?
The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
- If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicine). A fever is defined as having a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from getting dehydrated.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after using tissues and after coughing or sneezing into hands.
- Avoid close contact with others, including staying home from work or school; and
- Be watchful for emergency warning signs that might indicate you need to seek medical care.
What are the emergency warning signs?
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever with a rash
For more information, please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
Key Facts about H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/key_facts.htm