Swine Flu The Facts New York Wing Headquarters Marcia B. Andreu, 1Lt CAP NYWg Assistant Medical Officer.
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Swine Flu The Facts New York Wing Headquarters Marcia B. Andreu, 1Lt CAP NYWg Assistant Medical Officer
Where did it Come From? The first reported cases of H1N1 Flu (also known as Swine Flu) occurred in Mexico. Many people in Mexico have become very sick. As of Sunday May 3 rd There have been 506 confirmed cases of H1N1 and some deaths. Since the first cases of H1N1 were identified in students at St. Francis Prep school in Queens NY, the virus has spread to 36 states in the US.
The Numbers Keep Growing There are 226 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu infection in the US as of Sunday May 3 rd and one reported death. 18 countries world wide have reported confirmed cases of flu. The total number of confirmed cases is 898. There may be many other people who are sick with this virus. Confirmed means that a test has been done for the virus and has been positive (positively identified what the virus is.)
Cases in the United States and other parts of the world have been milder than those in Mexico. There is no guarantee that this will continue because viruses are known for their ability to mutate (change) Because of this, many agencies like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) that monitor illness throughout the world are watching very carefully. Communities and school districts have plans in place to deal with the situation if it becomes worse.
Signs and Symptoms Of H1N1 Fever above 100 F Body aches, Chills, Headache Lethargy (Weakness) Coughing, Sneezing and possibly a Runny Nose May also see Nausea vomiting and diarrhea Sounds a lot like regular Flu doesn’t it?
So What’s the Difference? Most influenza virus’ have been around for a while. Although they change from year to year most people have been exposed to them and we have an idea about what the effects will be. Scientists are able to predict what kinds flu will occur every year and produce a vaccine. The H1N1 virus is a new or “novel” virus It usually only causes flu in pigs. This flu has been known pass from a pig to a person, but it normally stops there.
H1N1 In this case the virus has changed so it can also pass from person to person. There was also a report of an infected person passing the virus to a pig in Canada. There is no vaccine available for H1N1 because the virus is so new. Scientists will be working on a vaccine if they think it’s needed. So far, the virus seems to respond well to treatment with current antiviral medicines
How does it spread? H1N1 Influenza or “Flu” spreads just like other cold and flu illnesses. A person may sneeze or cough. If that person doesn’t cover their mouth and nose droplets carrying the virus fly out into the air and may be inhaled by someone else or land on a surface. Or That same person covers their mouth and nose with their hands and then touches a doorknob, keyboard or another surface that will be touched by other people. When another person touches that surface the virus gets onto their hands. If they touch their face………
How do I Stay Healthy? The most important thing that you can do is remember to wash your hands Use warm running water and soap Rub your hands together briskly; Work up a good lather Wash for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice). Rinse well and use a paper towel to dry your hands, turn off the faucet, and even open the bathroom door knob. Throw the towel in the garbage.
Then What? If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer Keep your hands away from your face Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm/sleeve or a tissue. If you use a tissue throw it in the garbage and wash your hands. Remind your classmates to do the same. Stay away from people who are sick with suspected flu. If you have the flu don’t come to school. Stay healthy. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise. Get fresh air. Get enough sleep,
What is the school doing ? Hand sanitizer is available in all of the school buildings for staff and students. All surfaces are cleaned thoroughly by maintenance at the end of each day. Disinfecting wipes are available for cleaning the computer key boards. The district is closely monitoring and following the recommendations of the Health Department, CDC, and local government agencies.
So Far So Good The newest information seems to indicate that H1N1 or “Swine Flu” is no worse than seasonal flu. There has only been one reported death so far. The name was changed to H1N1 because some people were scared to eat pork because of the original name. It is perfectly alright to eat Pork as long as it is cooked correctly. You cannot catch the flu from eating pork. The numbers of new cases reported in Mexico are decreasing.
Now What If there is a significant change in any of this information, we will let you know. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to talk to a unit medical officer at the squadron, if available. Marcia Andreu, NYWg Assistant Medical Officer is available for questions. email@example.com
Remember Have a Healthy Day and don’t forget to cover your cough and wash your hands!