2…To you and you and you and you… Spread of novel H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
3SymptomsThe symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.
4Is this Serious?Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus have occurred.
5Whose at Risk?People 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.About 70 percent of people who have been hospitalized with this novel H1N1 virus have had one or more medical conditions previously recognized as placing people at “high risk” of serious seasonal flu-related complications.
6How long are you contagious? People infected with seasonal and novel H1N1 flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems and in people infected with the new H1N1 virus.
7Prevention and Treatment 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.Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.Try to avoid close contact with sick people.If you are sick with flu-like illness, It is recommended that you stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
8Can household cleaning help prevent transmission? Yes. Studies have shown that the virus can live on a surface and can make a person sick for up to 2-8 hours. To help prevent transmission, all hard surfaces, such as doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, telephones, and bathroom surfaces, should be washed with soap or detergent, rinsed with water and then disinfected and rinsed.
9VaccinationsAt this time, there is no vaccine for novel H1N1 influenza.You can receive a regular flu shot but it does not protect you from the novel H1N1 influenza.This makes the regular things you do to protect yourself from the flu, such as covering coughs and washing hands, all the more important.
10Learn more about H1N1The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)The World Health Organization (WHO)
11Submitted by Brittney Dullard, University of Connecticut