Swine flu has hit the country hard. No doubt people are panic as the pandemic is spreading rapidly in some areas. Now, it’s high time for people to act wisely to avoid further spreading of the disease. All that is required now is a little preparedness and maximum awareness. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Swine flu is a contagious flu and spreads faster from person to person. Usually influenza viruses are spread in droplets of cough and sneezes. The incubation period seems to be approximately 12 hours to 24 hours before the symptoms appear.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swine influenza (flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs first isolated in swine in 1930. The illness is caused by four different type A influenza strains that can cause outbreaks in pigs, though subtypes H1N1 and H3N2 seem to be more common.
Symptoms of Swine Flu:
Fever (100.5 degrees F or higher), Headache, Sore throat, Body Aches, Chills, Cough, Runny Nose, Stomach and Intestinal Discomfort, and Extreme Tiredness.
Precautions to follow:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Immediately dispose off used tissues in a wastebasket.
- If a tissue is not available, sneeze into your upper sleeve (at the crease of your elbow), not in your hands.
- Clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated)
- Flu germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with the virus and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Hence avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth frequently.
- Reducing person-to-person contact via personal greetings e.g. hand-shaking etc.
- Visiting of or other contact with unwell people should be avoided wherever practicable.
- Minimize hand contact with potentially contaminated surfaces such as handrails, door handles etc.
- If you are unwell, do not travel.
What if you are sick?
- If you are ill with probable/suspected/confirmed SOIV (Swine Origin Influenza Viral Infection – Novel H1N1), stay home until your symptoms are gone. It will speed your recovery and limit the spread of the virus. Resume office only on advice of your physician.
- If you are ill with probable/suspected/confirmed SOIV, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Protect your co-workers. In case you have probable/ suspected/ confirmed SOIV, work from home (self quarantine).
- Stay home if you have a family member probable/suspected/confirmed SOIV (voluntary home quarantine).
- If you or your family member is probable/suspected/confirmed SOIV , do get in touch with your contact point at your locations.
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