Use the antibacterial soaps to cleanse your hands. Wash them often, at least 15 seconds and rinse with running water.
2. Get enough sleep
Try to get 8 hours of good sleep every night to keep your immune system in top flu-fighting shape.
3. Drink sufficient water
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to flush toxins from your system and maintain good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses.
4. Boost your immune system
Keeping your body strong, nourished, and ready to fight infection is important in flu prevention. So stick with whole grains, colorful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits.
5. Keep informed
The government is taking necessary steps to prevent the pandemic and periodically release guidelines to keep the pandemic away. Please make sure to keep up to date on the information and act in a calm manner.
6. Avoid alcohol
Apart from being a mood depressant, alcohol is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So stay away from alcoholic drinks so that your immune system may be strong.
7. Be physically active
Moderate exercise can support the immune system by increasing circulation and oxygenating the body. For example brisk walking for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week will significantly perk up your immunity.
8. Keep away from sick people
Flu virus spreads when particles dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze reach someone else nose. So if you have to be around someone who is sick, try to stay a few feet away from them and especially, avoid physical contact.
9. Know when to get help
Consult your doctor if you have a cough and fever and follow their instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed.
10. Avoid crowded areas
Try to avoid unnecessary trips outside.
REGARDING SWINE FLU
What is swine flu?
Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.
Is swine flu contagious?
Yes, but it is unknown how easily the virus spreads between people.
Who is at highest risk from H1N1 swine flu?
Most cases of H1N1 swine flu have been in older children and young adults. It's not clear why, and whether this will change. But certain groups are at particularly high risk of severe disease or bad outcomes if they get the flu:
* Young children, especially those under 12 months of age
* Elderly people are at high risk of severe flu disease. But relatively few swine flu cases have been seen in people over age 65.
* People with cardiovascular conditions (except high blood pressure)
* People with liver problems
* Kidney problems
* People with blood disorders, including sickle cell disease
* People with neurological disorders
* People with neuromuscular disorders
* People with metabolic disorders, including diabetes
* People with immune suppression, including HIV infection and medications that suppress the immune system, such as cancer chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs for transplants
* Residents of a nursing home or other chronic-care facility
People in these groups should seek medical care as soon as they get flu symptoms.
If I think I have swine flu, what should I do? When should I see my doctor?
If you have flu symptoms, stay home, and when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Afterward, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. That will help prevent your flu from spreading.
If you have only mild flu symptoms, you do not need medical attention unless your illness gets worse. But if you are in one of the groups at high risk of severe disease, contact your doctor at the first sign of flu-like illness. In such cases, see your doctor before rushing to an emergency room.
But there are emergency warning signs.
Children should be given urgent medical attention if they:
* Have fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Have bluish or gray skin color
* Are not drinking enough fluid
* Are not waking up or not interacting
* Have severe or persistent vomiting
* Are so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worse cough
* Have fever with a rash
* Have a fever and then have a seizure or sudden mental or behavioral change.
Adults should seek urgent medical attention if they have:
* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then come back with worsening fever or cough
Keep in mind that your doctor will not be able to determine whether you have swine flu, but he or she may take a sample from you and send it to a state health department lab for testing to see if it's swine flu.
If your doctor suspects swine flu, he or she would be able to write you a prescription for Tamiflu or Relenza. These antiviral medications aren't a question of life or death for the vast majority of people. . If you have any flu-like symptoms contact or see a doctor for treatment and STAY HOME for your own well being and the well being of others.
To avoid the spread of flu:
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand cleaner;
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and
* Avoid close contact with sick people, including kissing, sharing eating utensils, or drinking from the same container.
Swine flu symptoms are the same as a regular flu and range from mild to severe
* Sore throat;
* Body aches;
* Headache; and
* Chills and fatigue.
Symptoms of swine flu in people may also include lethargy, loss of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Seek immediate medical care if you have:
* Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath;
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen;
* Confusion; or
* Severe or persistent vomiting.
How does swine flu spread? Is it airborne?
The new swine flu virus apparently spreads just like regular flu. You could pick up germs directly from droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person, or by touching an object they recently touched, and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, delivering their germs for your own infection. That's why you should make washing your hands a habit, even when you're not ill. Infected people can start spreading flu germs up to a day before symptoms start, and for up to seven days after getting sick.
The swine flu virus can become airborne if you cough or sneeze without covering your nose and mouth, sending germs into the air. Studies suggest that swine flu spreads less easily by small, airborne droplets than does seasonal flu. But it does spread by this route, and it may begin to spread even more readily as the new virus fully adapts to humans.
The new swine flu virus is a human virus spread by people and not by pigs. The only way to get the new swine flu is from another person.
How is swine flu treated?
Pandemic swine flu virus is sensitive to the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. The drugs are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms. But not everyone needs those drugs. Most people who have come down with swine flu have recovered without treatment.
Tamiflu or Relenza may also be used to prevent swine flu.& "can be considered" for people at high risk of severe flu illness who come into close contact with someone who has the flu.
Is there a vaccine against the new swine flu virus?
How can I prevent swine flu infection?
Following steps are recommended-
* Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
* Avoid close contact -- that is, being within 6 feet -- with people who have flu-like symptoms.
* Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. That's not easy to do, so keep those hands clean.
* If you have flu-like symptoms -- fever plus at least cough or sore throat or other flu symptoms -- stay home for seven days after symptoms begin or until you've been symptom-free for 24 hours -- whichever is longer.
* Wear a face mask (consider using an N95 respirator) if you must come into close contact with a sick person. "Close contact" means within 6 feet. Note: There is no definitive proof that a face mask prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a face mask to prevent infection.
* Wear an N95 respirator if helping a sick person with a nebulizer, inhaler, or other respiratory treatment. Note: There is no definitive proof that a respirator prevents flu transmission. Do not rely solely on a respirator to prevent infection.
* People who have or are suspected of having swine flu should wear a face mask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with other household members, when outside the home, or when near children or infants.
* Breastfeeding mothers with swine flu symptoms should express their breast milk, and the child should be fed by someone else.
Should I wear a face mask or respirator?
Every day, newspapers carry pictures of people wearing face masks to prevent swine flu transmission. But very little is known about whether face masks actually protect against the flu.
There's a difference between a face mask and a respirator. A face mask does not seal tightly to the face. Face masks include masks labeled as surgical, dental, medical procedure, isolation, or laser masks. Respirators are N95- or higher-rated filtering face pieces that fit snugly to the face. Respirators filter out virus particles when correctly adjusted -- which is not as simple as it sounds. But it's hard to breathe through them for extended periods, and they cannot be worn by children or by people with facial hair.
People who have flu-like symptoms should carry disposable tissues to cover their coughs and sneezes. When going out in public, or when sharing common spaces around the home with family members, they should put on a face mask -- if one is available and tolerable.
People not at risk of severe flu illness can best protect themselves from swine flu with frequent hand washing and by staying at least 6 feet away from people with flu symptoms. But if swine flu is circulating in the community, a face mask or respirator may be protective in crowded public places.
People at increased risk of severe flu illness -- pregnant women, for example -- should add a face mask to these tried-and-true precautions when providing assistance to a person with flu-like illness. And anyone else who cannot avoid close contact with someone who has swine flu (if you must hold a sick infant, for example) may try using a face mask or respirator.
How long does the flu virus survive on surfaces?
Bugs can survive for hours on surfaces. One study showed that flu viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard, nonporous surfaces such as stainless steel and for up to 12 hours on cloth and tissues. The virus seems to survive for only minutes on your hands -- but that's plenty of time for you to transfer it to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
What else should I be doing during the swine flu pandemic?
Keep informed of what's going on in your community. Your state and local health departments may have important information if swine flu develops in your area. For instance, parents might want to consider what they would do if their child's school temporarily closed because of flu. Don't panic, but a little planning wouldn't hurt. To plan for a pandemic:
* Store a two-week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
* Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
* Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
* Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
* Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
* Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.
How severe is swine flu?
Severity of cases in the current swine flu outbreak has varied widely, from mild cases to fatalities. Most cases have been mild, but there have been a number of deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations -- mostly in young people aged 5 to 24.
Like seasonal flu, children who get swine flu can have serious neurological complications such as seizures and Reye's syndrome. But as with seasonal flu, these complications fortunately are rare.
Studies of the swine flu virus show that it is more infectious to lung cells than are seasonal flu viruses. But studies also suggest that the swine flu virus is less well adapted to humans and may be harder to inhale deep into the lungs.
Flu viruses change all the time, and the way the pandemic swine flu virus evolved suggests that it is particularly liable to swap gene segments with other flu viruses. But so far the swine flu virus hasn't changed much. That's good news, as the vast majority of swine flu cases have been mild.
It's impossible to know whether the virus will become more deadly. Scientists are watching closely to see which way the new swine flu virus is heading -- but health experts warn that flu viruses are notoriously hard to predict.
But there's a lot of planning you can do. It's possible some schools in your community may temporarily close, or even that major gatherings may be canceled. So make contingency plans just in case you are affected.