There has been a great deal of news coverage on the current outbreak of the swine flu and panic levels are starting to rise. Understand that there is no “cure” for a virus, only good cleanliness habits, and preparedness. I ran across an article on the North Oaks Health System website out of Hammond and wanted to share their information with all of you. Not in an effort to create more panic, but to give you all some clear ideas of how to help decrease your risk.
Here’s the information from their site:
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
Although there is no vaccine available to protect against swine flu, there are steps you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with the flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Practice other, good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu. They include fever, cough, sore throat, lack of appetite, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where swine flu cases have been identified and become ill with flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, contact your health care provider. He or she will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.
For more information about swine flu, contact your health care provider or visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washing your hands often may help protect you from germs.
The swine flu is a serious issue facing our country right now. But daily habits like the ones listed above are good whether the swine flu is looming or not. In general, good hygiene habits help reduce your risk of viruses, colds, etc.