Although less tragic, the current situation calls for the implementation of preventative measures. The CDC has issued these recommendations to help prevent infection:
- 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.
- If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm)
How do I know if I or my children have H1N1?
The only way to confirm H1N1 is to be tested for the virus. Symptoms of the virus include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, etc. Nasal symptoms usually indicate a cold, especially when presented without a fever.
When should I seek medical attention?
If your child is younger than 3 months and is experiencing a fever, you should seek medical advice, regardless of other symptoms. If you or your child have a chronic condition that weakens your immune system, you should also seek medical care if you experience flu-like symptoms.
For normally healthy children and adults, you should treat at home (giving Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for pain, NOT Aspirin). Seek medical care if you or your child are lethargic, irritable, experience rapid breathing, or vomiting. These could be signs of complications. (Source: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/may09swinefluqanda.htm)
Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer additional information regarding the H1N1 virus, its transmission, treatment and prevention.
Posted by Christine of Random Thoughts With Chris
Featured weekly on Pink Lemonade Online Magazine