Swine Flu (H1N1) Prevention
In the U.S. in a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, resulting in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations according to CDC.
What is H1N1 flu virus?
H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is an Influenza A virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico and Canada, have reported people sick with this new virus. This contagious virus is spreading from person to person, causing illness, hospitalizations and deaths even during normally flu-free months. Unlike seasonal flu, people ages 5 to 24 appear to be more at risk, whereas people older than 64 years old have been less impacted.
What are the symptoms?
In addition to the typical influenza symptoms (such as fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, cough, sore throat and runny nose), these new genetic strains provoke different immune responses in the human body. For example, people infected with this H1N1 flu are more likely to have diarrhea and vomiting. Recent studies indicate that this virus exhibits an ability to infect the lungs and may be more similar to the 1918 pandemic virus than originally believed.
How long can influenza virus remain viable on surfaces or objects?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces for up to eight hours after being deposited on the surface, according to CDC. To help prevent the spread of influenza virus, it is important to keep surfaces clean and disinfected by wiping them down with disinfectant effective against Influenza A type viruses. PUREFY disinfecting product kills flu viruses in 60 seconds.
How can I help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness like the flu?
The CDC recommends the following everyday steps to stay healthy:
- Get vaccinated against seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Hand and skin cleansers are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Moisturize and keep the air clean to prevent transmission, and to relieve cold and flu symptoms
If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and that you limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.