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Friday, May 22, 2009

What to do now that A(H1N1) is in RP

Friday, May 22, 2009 Posted by vernon go , , , , , ,
After 30 or more suspected cases of A(H1N1) virus in the Philippines, the 1st case has finally been confirmed. See Details here

Now, what to do?

The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 meter if possible) and taking the following measures:
• avoid touching your mouth and nose;
• clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
• avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
• reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
• improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
• practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

On wearing masks:

If you are not sick you do not have to wear a mask. If you are caring for a sick person, you can wear a mask when you are in close contact with the ill person and dispose of it immediately after contact, and cleanse your hands thoroughly afterwards. If you are sick and must travel or be around others, cover your mouth and nose. Using a mask correctly in all situations is essential. Incorrect use actually increases the chance of spreading infection.

Warning Signs:

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish or gray skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Confusion
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

If you think you have the Illness, you should..

If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat:
• stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds;
• rest and take plenty of fluids;
• cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues, make sure you dispose of them carefully. Clean your hands immediately after with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
• if you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook of your elbow;
• use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets when you are around others, but be sure to do so correctly;
• inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with other people;
• If possible, contact a health professional before traveling to a health facility to discuss whether a medical examination is necessary.

What should I do if I need medical attention?

• If possible, contact your health care provider before traveling to a health facility, and report your symptoms. Explain why you think you have influenza A (H1N1) (e.g. if you have recently traveled to a country where there is an outbreak in people). Follow the advice given to you.
• If you cannot contact your health care provider before traveling to a health facility, tell a health care worker of your suspicion of infection immediately after arrival at the clinic or hospital.
• Cover your nose and mouth during travel.
Should I go to work if I have the flu but am feeling OK?
No. Whether you have influenza A(H1N1) or a seasonal influenza, you should stay home and away from work through the duration of your symptoms. This is a precaution that can protect your work colleagues and others.

Can I travel?

If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of influenza, you should not travel. If you have any doubts about your health, you should check with your health care provider

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