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April 28th, 2009:

Swine Flu! What is it and What can I do to Reduce my Family’s Risk

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the Swine Influenza A (H1N1) virus causes a respiratory viral infection that seems to be very contagious to humans.  Fortunately, it is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (brand name Relenza).

Swine Influenza A (H1N1) from CDC

Swine Influenza A (H1N1) from CDC

What Symptoms to Look for in Family Members? Fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, cough, body aches and headaches.   Vomiting and diarrhea may also accompany this flu.

How do humans pass the Flu? Sneezing, coughing and touch are the most common ways.  The swine flu virus can live on surfaces for 2 hours or longer! So cover your nose and mouth should you sneeze or cough.  You may be infected and not know it!

How to reduce your family’s risk of catching the flu: Your family’s Good Health is essential to staying well so get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, keep your nutrition up and drink plenty of fluids such as water or fruit juices.

Washing hands, scrubbing for 15 seconds with soap or non-soap hand wash, then rinse with warm water.  Dry hands well on disposable towels.

Resist touching surfaces such as elevator buttons, door knobs, and phones and other surfaces in public areas.

When greeting friends or business associates don’t shake hands.

Avoid touching your face or eyes or mouth till you can wash again, should you have to touch any surface in a public space,

Since you are contagious about 24 hours before you begin to have symptoms and for at least 7 days or more after the symptoms appear.  This means you can pass the swine flu on to others before you know you are sick as well as during the illness. Stay at home should you begin to feel ill.  Don’t go to work and infect others. Please!

If you must sneeze or cough in public, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then discard the used tissue in the trash.  Do not reuse tissues.

When to seek medical assistance: Severe vomiting, dehydration, bluish skin color, fast breathing, trouble breathing , confusion, dizziness, fever and rash, sleeping a lot, symptoms that go away only to reappear with even worse fever or cough.

In conclusion, keep your family out of crowds, wash hands often, get plenty of rest and healthy immune boosting supplements and good food.  This will pass and you can watch it go by without having it visit!




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