Saturday, September 12, 2009

Flu Update

Well, as you should know by now, the H1N1 flu virus isn't nearly as scary as it first appeared to be. It's got the mortality rate of a normal flu. The problem is that it's spreading really fast because no one has any immunity to it. And experts predict that the vaccine won't come out before this flu hits its peak. Oops.

So, it's not so nasty, but it's very contagious... What can you do? Check out Flu Preparedness Websites and follow some simple guidelines:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Wash thoroughly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.
    • Make sure to wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • If caring for ill persons, wash hands after providing assistance.
    • Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs.
    • If hand washing is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve. Put used tissues in the trash.
  • Don't share items such as towels, lipstick, toys or anything else that might be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don't share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • See your health care provider as soon as you can if you have a cough and a fever, and follow their instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed and getting rest.
  • Use a mask when visiting your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
And, in case you didn't garner it from the above instructions, wash your hands and don't spread your freaking germs around. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Wear a freakin' mask if you have to. If you are sick, don't go out and spread it around, rest and follow doctor's orders instead.

Some folks are going to get sick no matter what they do. Doctors and nurses are at high risk. So are teachers and anyone else who works with the public a lot. Be nice to those folks. They are out there on the front lines. Those folks are being advised to get the current flu shot, then get another shot when the H1N1 vaccine is available.