H1N1 (Swine Flu) Prevention

Flu season’s here, and with it is the anticipated threat of spreading H1N1 virus. H1N1 virus or Swine influenza is a flu virus usually found in pigs. The virus occasionally changes (mutates) and becomes infectious in humans.When this happens, it becomes a concern because humans have little or no immunity against the virus. The virus can spread very quickly and may be harder to treat than the traditional seasonal flu virus. Understanding what Swine Flu is and how it is spread will help protect you and your workers.

Swine Flu spreads in much the same way as seasonal flu. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. People can also become infected by touching something, such as a surface or object, with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Symptoms of Swine Flu infection are similar to classic flu-like symptoms, which may include:

  • Fever above 100.4° F
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Muscle Aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Most people who have been sick recovered without needing medical treatment; however, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus continue to occur. To help prevent yourself and your workers from being infected with H1N1 virus the CDC recommends you take these precautions:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way!
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.

Although most people who get Swine Flu will likely recover without needing medical care, doctors can prescribe antiviral drugs to treat people who become very sick or are high risk for flu complications.

Sources: CDC, Google Health

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