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The H1n1 Recap Advice on how to Share Infection Control Strategies without Inciting Panic

Controlling infection and avoiding panic with this years “new” flu

The Center for Disease Control { CDC} is recommending precautionary measures specifically related to the prevention of the spread of the influenza H1N1 {swine flu. } ” To prevent is better than cure. To inform is better than to diagnose” With this in mind, this is a review of the signs and symptoms of swine flu, and the critical warning signs; alerting you to when you should seek urgent medical attention.

Along with the arrival of the flu each year is the heralded recommendations on how to care for ourselves, our children and our elderly parents. This year we are all challenged to be prepared to meet a flu that may have some additional risks for part of our population. It is essential that we all seriously participate in infection control practices that are essential to preventing the spread of the swine flu.

The H1N1 virus is a new virus that most of us do not have immunity to . That is why it has the ability to spread from person to person and cause a global outbreak .{ pandemic }

Those at greatest risk:

Pregnant women

Children under two years of age

People with chronic illness, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or immunosuppression

Adults or children with obesity

It has been recommended by the CDC that day care centers do daily health checks on children. Separate children with respiratory infections until they can go home. Children should be kept at home until they are free from fever and cough for 24 hours.

Most often children with runny noses or a cough will not have swine flu. The more common cause is fall allergies. Or a cold with a low grade fever. For lingering runny nose or cough, sore throat and fever. It is recommended that they are assessed by a physician and checked for a strep throat infection. There are anti-flu medications for high risk children.

People with the swine flu are likely contagious for one day before and up to seven days after they begin to get sick with the Swine Flu symptoms.

Like seasonal flu, symptoms of the swine flu:

fever may be present or absent

runny or stuffy nose

sore throat

body aches

headache

fatigue or extreme tiredness

diarrhea and vomiting

Anytime children are ill parents need to monitor them for changes that may indicate a rapid progression into more serious complications. A parent should be proactive in the pursuit of medical care.

* Urgent medical attention for children with emergency warning signs :

Flu like symptoms that return with a fever or worse cough

Fever with a rash

Irritability that is severe enough that a child does not want to be held

A child is not waking up or not interacting

Not drinking enough fluids

Bluish or pale skin

Fast breathing or trouble breathing

* Urgent medical attention for adults with emergency warning signs:

Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath

Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen

Sudden dizziness

Confusion

Severe or persistent vomiting

If you become ill with flu like symptoms:

*Practice good respiratory hygiene. For those sudden cough or sneezes use your arm, rather than your hands to cover your mouth.

*Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. If possible dispose of your tissue in the bathroom toilet bowl. If this is not possible dispose of it immediately in a waste paper basket.

*Wash your hands often with soap and water after every cough or sneeze. Or use alcohol based hand cleaners. * If you get sick the CDC recommends that you stay at home from work or school Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.*Avoid touching your eyes ,nose or mouth. Infections are spread that way.

For some who contact the H1N1 {swine flu} it may run an uncomplicated course. For others, they may become acutely ill and need immediate medical attention. This years flu requires that we all be diligent in the practice of infection control and pursue prompt medical treatment for those who become seriously ill..

http://preventordoctor.blogspot.com/2008/11/essence-of-preventive-medicine.html

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidelines_infection_control.htm

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/swineflu/a/409_symptoms.htm

http://www.pta.org/CDC_Swine_Flu_Recommendations.pdf