Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Flu

Here are some things to consider and to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Dec. 19, 2014: it is recommended that people, especially the very young and the elderly, get this season’s vaccine even though it doesn’t provide protection against the new flu strain which is affecting many in the U.S. since it still protects against other strains and may reduce the severity of a case of the new flu: CBSNews.com Oct. 28, 2013: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 830 kids died from flu-related complications between October 2004 and September 2012, and most of those children had not gotten a flu vaccine: USAToday.com Sept. 2, 2013: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over 6 months old get this year’s flu shot as soon as possible: NBCNews.com As of mid-February 2013, the number of cases of flu in the U.S. declined but the flu still poses a serious threat, especially to the elderly, according to NBCNews.com In December 2012, experts say the flu is spreading faster than usual so getting the vaccine, which is highly effective against this season’s strain, is especially important: cnn.com In late 2012, experts say it’s important for people who are six months and older, pregnant women and those with high-risk conditions to get the flu vaccine: nbcnews.com As of January 20, 2012, according to the World Health Organization (who.int), influenza activity in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere remains low overall though notable local increases in activity have been reported in some areas of Canada, Europe (Turkey, Spain, Italy and Malta), northern Africa (Tunisia and Algeria), China and the middle East (the Islamic Republic of Iran) The flu virus can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure and can be fatal Approx. 36,000 die in the U.S. each year from seasonal (regular) flu. Approx. one in five Americans gets the flu each year According to the World Health Organization, most people recover without the need for hospitalization or medical care. Source: World Health Organization According to psandman.com, adults, then seniors, are much more likely (approx. twice) than children to die from H1N1 flu

To help prevent getting the flu:

  • Minimize your exposure to crowds and public places (e.g., public transportation, stores, sporting events, concerts, school)
  • Try to stay at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet away from people who might be inflected
  • Consider trying to use one of your hands (e.g., your right hand) for shaking hands, grabbing door handles, etc. and your other hand (e.g., your left hand) to handle food and if you need to touch your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Get a flu shot (or nasal spray vaccine, if available) in the fall, especially if you’re elderly, pregnant, breast-feeding or very young but not if you’re immuno-suppressed (e.g., from chemotherapy or HIV medications) – getting a flu shot or nasal spray vaccine only helps prevent getting the flu for the one flu season Senior citizens account for approx. 80% of the 20,000 to 40,000 deaths from flu each year in the U.S.
  • Keep a container of an anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based gel readily available
  • Frequently wash your hands (and/or use an anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based gel), especially before touching your mouth, noses, eyes, etc., and, before eating, shaking hands, touching potentially contaminated surfaces (e.g., door handles, shopping cart handles, hand rails, phones, keyboards, computer mice), etc.

Many studies have shown that frequent hand washing, especially by children, is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the flu

Wash your hands with soap and clean running water. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

  • Thoroughly clean any surfaces which infected persons might have come in contact with, e.g., with diluted chlorine bleach (e.g., 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach in one gallon of water) or disinfectant (follow instructions on labels and use gloves and goggles) Viruses and other germs are said to be able to live over two hours and perhaps for weeks on hard surfaces
  • If feasible, consider not going to work for some period of time, especially if you work in close proximity to other people
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement (the U.S. government recommends 600 IU a day and the Endocrine Society recommends at least 1,500 to 2,000 IU daily)
  • Consider taking the herb echinacea Might help prevent catching the flu, a cold, etc. from other people
  • Eat a nutritious and balanced diet
  • Get sufficient sleep, e.g., at least seven hours a night
  • Exercise regularly (but not to excess)
  • Wear a mask when you are close to other people – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS
  • Avoid visiting areas where there is a high number of flu cases, e.g., check CDC.gov (there’s a map of the U.S. at the bottom of their web page

According to CDC.gov: Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

If you travel by airline:

  • Take at least one container of anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel with you
  • Use the hand sanitizer often especially before eating and before touching your nose, mouth or eyes, and, after touch common surfaces (e.g., overhead storage compartment)
  • Wear a face mask – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS
  • Set your air vent to low and aim in slightly in front of your face

If you need to work with sick patients:

  • Wear proper personal protective equipment, e.g, a mask – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS

Be on the lookout for following symptoms of flu in you and others (if two or more symptoms are present, it might be the flu):

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Body/muscle aches
  • Stiffness of the joints
  • Headache
  • Fatigue / lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Runny nose (in some cases)
  • Nausea (in some cases)
  • Disorientation (in some cases)
  • Diarrhea (in some cases)
  • Vomiting (in some cases)
  • Worsening of an existing chronic condition

To help avoid spreading the flu (whether or not you have symptoms):

  • Stay at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet away from other people
  • Keep tissues and/or handkerchiefs readily available
  • Keep a container of an anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based gel readily available
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth, preferably with the crux (elbow area) of your arm or a tissue

Cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

  • Dispose of used tissues properly
  • Consider wearing a mask when you are close to other people – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS
  • Frequently wash your hands (and/or use an anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based gel), especially before touching other people (e.g., shaking hands) or touching surfaces likely to be touched by other people (e.g., door handles, shopping cart handles, hand rails, phones, keyboards, computer mice)
  • Avoid sharing utensils, beverages, etc.
  • Avoid crowds and public places (e.g., public transportation, stores)
  • Encourage others to get the flu vaccine, especially the young and elderly
  • Avoid kissing
  • Avoid close contact with other people

If you feel flu symptoms coming on or if you think you have the flu:

CDC recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100¬? F [37.8¬?C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. This is a change from the previous recommendation that ill persons stay home for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms, whichever was longer. The new recommendation applies to camps, schools, businesses, mass gatherings, and other community settings where the majority of people are not at increased risk for influenza complications.

  • Stay at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet away from other people
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid going to school or work, especially if you work in close proximity to other people (don’t return until at least two days after the symptoms go away)

CStay home if you have flu symptoms. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

  • Encourage people living with you to also avoid going to school or work until they’re sure they haven’t gotten the flu

Keep your sick kids home from school. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

  • Consider taking the herb echinacea – might help minimize flu symptoms
  • If you have mild symptoms, it’s probably best to not go to a hospital – to avoid spreading the virus to people at the hospital, etc.
  • Wear a mask when you are close to other people – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS
  • Call your doctor’s office for advice on the best treatment (it’s usually best to not go to your doctor’s office or hospital without calling ahead first)
  • Consider using home remedies or over-the-counter medications, but don’t give any cough or cold products to children 6 years old or younger
  • Don’t ask for antibiotics – they won’t help because the flu is caused by a virus

Two antiviral drugs are recommended for H1N1 flu: oseltamivir (Tamiflu) & zanamivir (Relenza)

  • Watch out for fake drugs – Health Canada warns that they have not authorized generic versions of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza)

If you have severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, uncontrollable vomiting or being delirious:

  • Get medical attention (e.g., go to a hospital) – the most effective treatment is antiviral medications administered within two days of onset
  • Stay at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet away from other people
  • Wear a mask when you are close to other people – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS

General:

  • In case you’re sick and can’t go to the store or local stores are closed, obtain/maintain a one to two week supply of:
    • Food (including special food for infants, elderly, pets) – mostly foods which do not require refrigeration, preparation or cooking
    • Water (1 gallon per person per day in clean plastic containers, not milk cartons, glass bottles, etc.)
    • Prescription medicines
    • Medical supplies e.g., glucose monitoring supplies
    • Non-prescription medicine e.g., pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, stomach remedies and anti-diarrheal medication
    • Vitamins
    • Fluids with electrolytes (e.g., sports drinks)
    • Face masks – N95 respirator masks help by filtering out 95% of particles in the air but need to be fitted properly to create a seal and can make breathing difficult – surgical masks aren’t nearly as effective and primarily help prevent the wearer from spreading germs but any mask will help remind you to not touch your nose, mouth or eyes unless your hands are clean – for more info: U.S. Dept of HHS
    • Anti-bacterial and/or alcohol-based gel (e.g., hand sanitzer)
    • Soap
    • Bleach
    • Facial tissues
    • Thermometer
    • Disposable gloves
  • Make arrangements for someone to watch your children if their school closes and you wouldn’t be able to stay home with them

For more info:

Comments


  1. On December 14th, 2009, dr-amani said:

    thanks>>>>> good effort>

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