August 14, 2009

h1n1 flu booklet

TQ Sue for sharing!!

To all of you who havent read and seen this booklet from UN, here's a brief look at it.

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What is the new influenza A (H1N1) virus that has been causing recent outbreaks globally?
The recent outbreaks of disease in people globally are caused by a new influenza (or “flu”) type A (H1N1) virus. There is a human H5N1 virus circulating and causing seasonal influenza and in the past, very occasionally, H1N1 viruses from swine have infected humans. The specific type of the H1N1 virus causing illness now is new or “novel” and in the current outbreak it is clear that this virus is able to infect humans and be passed from person to person. Although part of the virus may have originated from pigs, there is no evidence that the current spread of infection is coming from that source.

How does the influenza A (H1N1) virus spread?
Spread of this new virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What should I do to keep from getting infected by the influenza A (H1N1) virus?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

What is a ‘pandemic’?
Influenza pandemics happen when a new human flu virus emerges and spreads rapidly across the globe because humans have no previous immunity against this virus.

Are we at risk of a pandemic?
No one can say whether or not the current situation would evolve into a severe pandemic. But whether it turns out to be a catastrophic health event or little more than a bad flu season, it is important to be prepared for the worst.

What can you do?
Prepare yourself and your family immediately for a possible pandemic. This includes gathering and storing emergency supplies and adopting habits that will reduce the chance of you or your family getting infected and spreading it to others (for example, washing hands regularly, covering nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and not spitting in public).

What is the difference between seasonal and pandemic influenza?
Seasonal influenza:
Human viral respiratory infection,
Self-limiting, but can be serious and fatal in the elderly and the very young,
Causes an estimated 250,000-500,000 deaths each year,
Occurs seasonally every year; occurs in winter in temperate areas,
Routine vaccines available

Pandemic influenza:
Global outbreak of new strain of human influenza virus,
Causes increased illness and death worldwide,
Rare event; occurred every 11-42 years over the past two centuries; could cause millions of deaths,
Three pandemics in the past 100 years: 1968, 1957 and 1918,
Vaccines can only be developed once we know the strain of the virus.

Are you at risk?
Seasonal influenza
Everyone is at risk of getting seasonal influenza. It passes easily from person to person through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. These droplets can pass directly into the nose, mouth or eyes of a person who is nearby (less than 1 meter, or 3 feet, away) or indirectly when a person touches surfaces that droplets have fallen onto and then touches his or her nose, mouth or eyes before washing hands. Crowded, indoor environments may promote the chances of such transmission, which may explain the increase in respiratory infections during the winter months. Seasonal influenza can lead to complications and even death. Most complications occur in people aged 65 years and over or in people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes. Pregnant women, infants and very young children are also at increased risk of complications from influenza. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year 3 million to 5 million people have severe cases of seasonal influenza worldwide, and 250,000 to 500,000 people die.

Pandemic Influenza
When a pandemic occurs, everyone will be at risk, not just frail or elderly people. Pandemic influenza passes from person to person just as easily and quickly as seasonal flu. But, unlike with seasonal flu, people will not be immune to this new virus, so more people will become infected. In addition, it is possible that even young and healthy people who do not normally suffer complications from seasonal flu may develop serious complications and even die in a pandemic.
It is important to know, however, that the majority of people who will develop a flu-like illness in a pandemic will recover and develop immunity to the new human virus.

Things you should know about human influenza viruses:
• They spread through infected droplets from breathing passages.
• Droplets are expelled by talking, spitting, coughing, sneezing.
• The droplets spread about 1 meter (3 feet) from the infected person, either directly to other people or indirectly through hands and other surfaces.
• The viruses can live for several hours on hard surfaces, or on cloth and paper.
• If healthy people touch infected hands, doorknobs, keyboards, telephones, etc., they can infect themselves by touching mouths, noses or eyes.
• Sometimes the viruses can spread through the air.
• An infected person is most likely to spread the virus when he or she has fever and a cough.
• It is possible that an infected person will spread the virus a day before showing signs of illness.

How do you know you have influenza?
Seasonal Influenza:
• Fever
• Headache
• Aching muscles
• Exhaustion and feeling weak
• Loss of appetite
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Dry cough

Pandemic Influenza:
While the first symptoms of pandemic influenza might be similar to seasonal flu symptoms, how the symptoms develop will depend on the nature of the specific virus. It is likely that most people will recover without needing medical attention, but the following symptoms may help you decide if you need to seek medical help:
• Shortness of breath while resting or doing very little work
• Persistent fever for 4 or 5 days
• Painful or difficult breathing
• Coughing up a lot of phlegm or bloody sputum
• Wheezing
• You are feeling better and then you develop a new fever or worsening cough with sputum
• You feel very drowsy and others have difficulty waking you up or note you seem confused or disorientated

Cold or flu?
Learn the differences between influenza symptoms and those of a common cold.

Cold
Fever : Rare
Headache : Rare
General Aches, Pains : Slight
Fatigue, Weakness : Sometimes
Extreme Exhaustion : Never
Stuffy Nose : Common
Sneezing : Usual
Sore Throat : Common
Chest Discomfort, Cough : Mild to moderate; hacking cough

Flu
Fever : Usual; high (100°F to 102°F, occasionally higher, especially in young children); lasts 3 to 4 days
Headache : Common
General Aches, Pains : Usual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness : Usual; can last up to 2 to 3 weeks
Exhaustion : Usual; at the beginning of the illness
Stuffy Nose : Sometimes
Sneezing : Sometimes
Sore Throat : Sometimes
Chest Discomfort, Cough : Common; can become severe

How do you reduce your risk of contracting influenza?
Personal Hygiene
The practice of good personal hygiene is one of the most effective strategies any individual can implement to reduce their risk of being infected by the influenza virus. Important points are:
• Cover the nose and mouth with the sleeve when coughing or sneezing (not with the hand, as that contaminates the hand for touching and spreading organisms further);
• Use a tissue for cleaning/blowing the nose, and dispose of it after use;
• Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, using a tissue, or touching any surface that may have become contaminated by a prior user. If using a surgical mask, dispose of it carefully after use and wash hands:
° Wash hands with soap and water (preferable)
or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner;
° When you wash your hands, wash for at least 20 seconds, making sure that all surfaces of hands and fingers are cleaned.
• Become “touch aware”, and avoid touching surfaces that are likely to have been touched by others (door handles, stair railings, etc);
• Avoid handshaking, social kissing, and other social rituals that involve touching others.
• Be careful with respiratory secretions when around other people (e.g. coughing and sneezing). If possible, avoid contact with individuals at risk (small children or those with underlying or chronic illnesses) until respiratory symptoms have resolved.

How do you reduce the chances of spreading influenza?
• Practice good personal hygiene as listed on pages 9 and 10.
• Don’t share eating utensils and drinking glasses.
• Clean utensils used by sick people or surfaces they touch with warm, soapy water or disinfectant.
• Avoid crowded situations that place you in close contact with others.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking makes it easier to catch influenza and increases the likelihood of serious complications.
• Stay home if sick with a fever or cough.

How do you care for yourself and others?
Caring for yourself - The following are a few of the things you or those you are caring for can do to help reduce influenza symptoms. Of course, if the influenza appears to be more severe, you should consult with a medical professional immediately.
• Measure your temperature. If it is not above 38°C (100.4°F), you probably don’t have influenza.
• Rest and completely avoid rigorous exercise.
• Avoid contact with others.
• Stay at home.
• Drink plenty of fluids (a glass of water or juice every hour).
• Take paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) to reduce fever and relieve pain. (It does not kill the virus, but it makes you feel better.)
• Gargle with warm water to ease a sore throat.
• Use saline (salt) solution nose drops to help relieve a stuffed nose.
• Keep your nose clean with disposable tissues and throw the used tissues in the garbage. Wash your hands afterwards.
• Don’t smoke.

Caring for others
Most patients with pandemic influenza will be able to remain at home during the course of their illness and can be cared for by other family members or others who live in the household. Anyone residing in a household with an influenza patient during the incubation period and illness is at risk for developing influenza. A key objective in this setting is to limit transmission of pandemic influenza within and outside the home. Even though there is a risk of transmitting the virus, people are going to have to take care of each other if they get sick.

Management of Influenza Patients
Physically separate the patient with influenza from non-ill persons living in the home as much as possible. A separate room should be set up so that the sick person can be isolated. To set up a separate room, you may need extra bedding supplies, including sheets, towels and plastic mattress covers.
Consider where you could make up a sickbay that would be isolated from the rest of the house. Also consider how you would ventilate this room. It is important that air from the room is expelled to the outside of the house and not back into the house, so make a plan of how that might be done.
- To minimize the risk of spread, only the caregivers who are absolutely necessary should visit the sick person’s room, and they should always wash their hands thoroughly upon leaving. Wearing of masks can be helpful as long as you realize that it is not a panacea.
- Patients should not leave the home during the period when they are most likely to be infectious to others (i.e., 7 days from the onset of symptoms for adults or until 24-48 hours after resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer). When movement outside the home is necessary (e.g., for medical care), the patient should follow cough etiquette (i.e., cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing) and wear a surgical mask if available.
- How to wear a mask: If you choose to wear a mask, place it over your nose, mouth and chin and secure in place with either the strings or elastic bands provided. Adjust the metallic strip over the bridge of your nose to ensure a secure fit so that leaks are prevented. When removing the mask, do so by touching the straps only. Carefully place the face mask into a plastic bag and tie the bag closed before putting it into a rubbish bin, preferably one with a lid. Remember that masks cannot eliminate the possibility of infection.

When should you stay home?
During a pandemic situation, staff who are identified to perform on-site critical functions should not come to work under any of the following circumstances:
• They are feeling unwell, or have any cold/flu type symptoms (headache, fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, runny nose, nasal congestion, abdominal
pain, cramps or diarrhoea). Staff will be advised to check their body temperature each morning and evening. No staff member should go to work if they have a fever;
• One of their family members has or is suspected to have influenza;
• They are aware that they have had recent contact (<48 style="font-weight: bold;">What should you do if you may have been exposed?
• Monitor your health for 7 days.
• If you become ill with fever and develop a cough or difficulty breathing, or if you develop any illness during this 7-day period, consult a health-care provider.
• At first contact with your health-care provider, remember to give him the following information:
° your symptoms
° whether or not you had direct poultry contact
° where you travelled
• Do not travel while sick, and limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent the spread of any infectious illness.

NOTE: In the event of a pandemic, you should be prepared for the possibility that you and your dependants may be expected to remain at your duty station because of the risks of travel

Anyone who wants a copy of this booklet can email me and i'll try to send a copy to your email k!


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