The flu virus affects thousands of people each year. This year, we have the H1N1 flu virus to contend with also. Here are some common sense ways that you can protect yourself anywhere and at any time from getting sick with either of these virus types.
One thing that you will notice is that the swine flu and the seasonal flu viruses have similar symptoms. The only way to tell which one you actually have is by having a mouth swab done at the doctor's office. And, he will have to send it away for a definitive answer. Rapid tests can shed some light on which strain you probably have contracted.
If you don't have the flu, you don't want to get it. Instead of panicking, use your head to get a handle on the situation and stay healthy.
One, wash your hands. hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. If you are a healthcare worker or you work with children, wash your hands between patients and after diapering the children. After wiping little noses, throw the tissues away and wash your hands and theirs.
Two, stay as far away from someone who is sick as you can. In health care facilities, they recommend that anyone with the flu not return to work until their fever has broken and been that way without artificial means for at least 24 hours. If you can, get them to wear a mask.
Three, disinfect contaminated surfaces. You may not see anything expressed when someone sneezes but it is there. Touching any of these droplets and them touching your face can transmit the swine flu virus to you. household cleaners are usually effective against influenza viruses.
Clean by spraying and letting the solution settle on surfaces for a few minutes before wiping. Many cleaners specify how long that should be for an effective kill rate. Wash any utensils and cookware handled by a sick person. After the illness is over, wash their linens.
On the other hand, if you are the one sick, you can also do a few things to prevent the spread of the flu from you to other members of your family.
First, invoke a self-quarantine if you can. For parents who have to care for their kids and have no help this will be hard. In those circumstances, wearing a mask will offer protection from getting sick. Keeping to yourself will keep the virus from being present in every room of your house and you might just get some much needed rest.
Secondly, use tissues religiously. When you sneeze, sneeze into a tissue and then promptly throw it away. Wash your hands after a sneeze to help reduce the duration of your illness.
There are a few simple ways that you can help stop the spread of the swine flu. These suggestions work whether you are the one who is sick or taking care of a sick person.
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