Prevention remains the most effective way to stay healthy. The H1N1 flu (swine) is still occurring throughout the United States and it is likely we will continue to see more cases during the upcoming flu season in the fall and winter. It is important to take actions to prevent illness and t to make plans in the event that you or your loved ones become ill.
It is not known how severe this disease may become. As I write to you, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently projects 40 percent of Americans in the coming months will either become ill with H1N1 or be a caregiver for someone with it. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of those already infected. Get to know the dangers and counter the virus spread. CDC officials are outlining the following preventive steps to take over the next several months of the flu season:
1. Cove.r your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
4.Stay home if you get sick. The CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with other to keep from infecting them.
5. Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and taking other social distancing measures.
6.Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
7.Call 1(800) CDC-INFO for more information.
All flu viruses have the potential to kill if untreated or ignored. These viruses seem to strike children younger than 5 years old or adults 65 years of age or older. Additionally, persons with the following conditions appear particularly susceptible. Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematologic al (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorder (including diabetes mellitus); immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV, pregnancy; persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; or residents of nursing homes and other chronic-car facilities.
Parents, as you teach your children good hygiene habits, emphasize the danger of the N1N1 flue and ensure they take their own prevention actions at school, and sports and social events. Now is the time for the public to be more vigilant and responsible. Common sense, a vaccine, education and staying attuned to breaking news about the virus will help everyone understand the dangers and stay healthy. More information about the H1N1 flu can be found online at the CDC website: www.cdc.gov