When I read the news today about the rising number of deaths toll due to influenza A(H1N1), I got scared. I have been ignorant previously but certainly not anymore since today. I am collecting and reading information about influenza A(H1N1) to educate myself about this pandemic disease.
Todate, the deaths of five people within 72 hours have brought the number of the H1N1-related fatalities to 13 (read more here).
Below information is taken from WHO and I hope to help spread the information. PLEASE READ.
We will not be able to tell the difference between seasonal flu and influenza A(H1N1) without medical help. Typical symptoms to watch for are similar to seasonal viruses and include fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and runny nose. Only medical practitioner and local health authority can confirm a case of influenza A(H1N1).
Protection from catching H1N1 Flu
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 metre 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;
- practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
What should we do if we think we have the illness
If we 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 nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues, make sure to dispose them carefully. Clean hands immediately with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
- if no tissue close when we cough or sneeze, cover the mouth as much as possible with the crook of our elbow;
- use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets
- inform family and friends about the 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.
When should someone seek medical care?
A person should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).