Six Tips to Avoid Swine Flu

by SKHC Editor on April 30, 2009

Just when you thought the flu season was coming to an end Swine Flu swept in and has been infecting people all over the world. To date there have been over 90 lab confirmed cases and one death in the United States alone.

Swine Influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A (H1N1) influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get Swine Flu. However, the recent outbreak is a never-before seen combination of human, swine, and avian influenza viruses.

Swine Flu has similar symptoms of regular human flu (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue) and ranges in severity from mild to severe (diarrhea and vomiting).

No one is exempt from catching the flu but there are steps you can take to avoid it. They’re common, you’ve heard them before, but just in case let’s review.

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Some people wear masks (also referred to as surgical, dental, medical procedure, isolation, and laser masks) or particulate respirators. The best ones at blocking viruses are the respirators.

2. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. The CDC also recommends you keep sick children home from school and have a plan for day care if you cannot be with them.

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw away each tissue after use. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. It’s such a simple gesture of common courtesy yet so often forgotten.

4. Frequently Washing your hands to help protect you from germs. What’s that old saying…while washing your hands sing the “ABCs” or “Happy Birthday” to make sure you’re washing your hands long enough to get rid of the gunk. If you’re on the go, keep some hand sanitizer or handy wipes in your car or bag.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth – germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits – get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, avoid sugar, and eat nutritious food.

In addition to these six tips keeping a sanitary home and workspace also helps. Thoroughly disinfecting commonly used household and workspace fixtures and electronics (doorknobs, railings, keyboards, telephones, cell phones, remote controls, etc.) with an antimicrobial hand wipe will also help kill germs and bacteria.  

Stay safe.

Watch CDC podcast giving instructions on how to put on and take off disposable respirators.

Source: CDC

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