We’ve been hearing a lot about the H1N1 influenza season, so let’s talk about simple precautions:
Symptoms are similar to those of regular or seasonal flu and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Health officials say everyone should follow standard precautions to reduce the spread of any respiratory illness.
· Practice healthy habits to stop the spread of germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. This removes germs from your skin and helps prevent diseases from spreading.
- Use waterless alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap is not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in a wastebasket.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel.
· Seek medical help if you feel sick.
- If you become sick with a fever plus a cough and sore throat or have trouble breathing, seek medical care right away. Tell your doctor if you have had contact with a sick person or farm animals while traveling.
- You should avoid further travel until you are free of symptoms, unless traveling locally for medical care.
These are things that you have been hearing most of your life [except for the hand-gels that haven’t been around forever] because this is very basic hygiene. This is the stuff that your mother told you that you had to do….this is the stuff that you try to teach your children as they are growing up. [Remember, trying to explain to them to sing Happy Birthday to themselves when they are washing their hands so that they wash long enough!!]
Now we have a new scare with a new name but the basic dynamics of hand washing have worked in the past and will still work today. This is for nearly every kind of named illness out there that has the potential of spreading…
Do you have questions about the ‘new’ flu, the vaccine and what you should be doing??? There are two town hall meetings scheduled for Monday September 28th, in the San Saba County Courthouse, at 11:30 am and 6:00 pm…..this is your chance to speak with DSHS Region 7 representatives about what we can expect in the months to come.