Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Swine Flu - we can help prevent it!

H1N1, or what some call swine flu, is very serious. It can be unpredictable in nature, but we can help prevent the spread if we work at it.

Oregon Emergency Management takes this flu seriously. However, we don't want people to live in fear. Because knowledge is power, here is some knowledge to help you get through this season safely.

Get your regular seasonal flu shot. This is not for H1N1 but will cover you for three other strains that may show up this winter, and it is possible to get H1N1 and a different flu at the same time.
If you are identified as at risk for H1N1, you will need to get two shots a few weeks apart (one shot may be sufficient, depending on the circumstances). Information can be found at http://www.flu.oregon.gov/ on who will be the priority groups for those shots.

The flu is a set of symptoms: respiratory, fever, headache, cough, sore throat and muscle aches. It can put you in bed for seven to 10 days, and the cough and fatigue can last for a month or more.

The flu is spread by droplets (coughing/sneezing). H1N1 has heavy droplets that fall to the ground within 3 feet. So keep your distance, cover your cough with your sleeve — or as my mom taught me, cough and sneeze down into your shirt.

Wash your hands regularly, keep them out of our mouth, nose and eyes, and use antibacterial waterless hand cleanser If you don't feel well, stay home. We can stay healthy if we are considerate of others and work together.

1 comment:

friedman said...

First, does this or another site plan to inform Oregon's residents, especially those in the rural areas, specifically when and where swine flu vaccination will be available? I write this on Oct.4, some vaccine is expected to reach states (Oregon?) two days from now, and this info is till not online. When and where will it be? Second, is there any preparation or communication whatsoever in rural and community hospitals for an increased use of ICUs and ventilators (and trained ARDS nurses!) that may result from this virus? If so, what, and if not, why not?