Oct 05 2009
It took the world by surprise, and although the number of deaths being reported each day has decreased, there are still many reasons to be wary of swine flu, not the least of which is that it can prove to be fatal. It’s called the flu, but it’s not as simple as the fever we normally get because of viral infections. In fact, there are no current vaccines to protect you from swine flu, also known as H1N1 influenza. But, if you take the time to stop panicking and think about how you can prevent your family from becoming affected by this disease, you’ll see that all you have to do is follow a few basic precautions, most of which are exactly what we would do to keep common illnesses like colds and coughs away:
- Practice common sense hygiene: And by this I mean that it is imperative to keep your hands clean at all times. If we were to observe our hands under a microscope, we would be flabbergasted at the amount of germs it hosts. Simply put, the more we wash our hands, the less chance we have of being infected with any contagious disease. Encourage people you live with and interact with on a regular basis to wash their hands too, after they’ve handled money, used their computers, or even when they get back home from a trip outside.
- Keep your nose and mouth covered: When you go out in public places where you know swine flu is prevalent, cover your face with a mask and avoid hanging around there for too long. Also, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
- Stay away from closed places: If you tend to spend too much time in closed environments, don’t. Places that have no open windows and are air-conditioned have germs circulating, and when infected people enter them, you’re prone to the disease too. So until the epidemic dies out, stay safe.
- Keep a list of medical options at hand: Know who to get in touch with in case you or a close family member is affected. Don’t take symptoms, no matter how trivial they are, too lightly. If you have a runny nose or run a slight fever, call your doctor and get yourself checked out immediately to prevent it from escalating into anything more serious.
- Protect others if you are sick: In case you think you may have swine flu, see a doctor immediately. Quarantine yourself until you’re able to get treated so that others around you are not affected. Wear a mask at all times and avoid touching or coming into contact with other people.
The only way to battle any disease is to be prepared, and if you are prepared for swine flu, beating it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of nurse practitioner schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: email@example.com