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Seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza viruses

***NEW***Flu Clinic Information/Consent Form

                    Consent Form            H1N1 Vaccine Information        CUSD#1 H1N1 Letter       

What Everyone Should Know About H1N1

What is it?  H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu”) is a new influenza (flu) virus. It was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009.  Despite its name, swine flu is not transmitted by food, including pork.

How serious is it?  Like the seasonal flu H1N1 flu in humans can vary from mild to severe, with some cases leading to death.  It’s not known yet how severe this virus will be to the general population during the flu season (generally December to March).

Will a seasonal flu shot help?  You will not be protected from H1N1 flu by getting a seasonal flu shot or from having had the flu before. Scientists are currently working on an H1N1 flu vaccine (to be out in October).

Who will receive the H1N1 flu vaccine first?  Top priority groups are:

* Pregnant women
* Healthcare workers
* People from 6 months to 24 years old
* those who live with or care for children under 6 months
* people 25-64yrs with chronic health conditions
* The H1N1 flu vaccine is not intended to be a substitute for the seasonal flu vaccine

Are there medicines to treat H1N1 flu?  Antiviral prescription drugs begun within 2 days or one’s first flu symptoms may help make the illness milder.   These medicines also may help prevent serious flu complications.

How does the H1N1 spread?  It is thought to spread like seasonal flu, mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing.  People may also become infected by touching something that has the H1N1 flu virus on it and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.  The virus can survive on surfaces and infect people for up to 8 hours.

For how long is someone contagious?  People who have the H1N1 flu may be able to infect others starting 1day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick.  Children especially younger children might be contagious for longer periods.

Help protect yourself and others from H1N1 Flu

*

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol based hand sanitizers also are effective.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
* Keep kitchens, bathrooms and toys clean.
* Don’t share items for drinking or eating.
* Avoid crowds during the peak flu season (December to March)
* Drink plenty of water.
* Get enough sleep, exercise and eat nutritious foods daily.
* Keep stress under control.

Signs and symptoms of H1N1 Flu:  the signs and symptoms of H1N1 Flu include:

Fever Headache
Cough Chills
Sore Throat Fatigue
Runny or stuffy nose Diarrhea
Body aches Vomiting

In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 flu.  Like seasonal flu, H1N1 may cause a worsening of chronic medical conditions.

Get your seasonal flu shot as early as possible: is especially important for adults over age 65 yrs, the most susceptible to complications from common flu strains.  People over age 65 will be offered the H1N1 flu vaccine after the demand among younger age groups has been met. 

 Self Care for H1N1 Flu: 

* Stay home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever(100 F) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine. 
* Limit contact with others.
* If you must leave home for medical care, wear a surgical mask.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  If you have no tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.  Put used tissues into the trash.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water and or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
* Drink plenty of clear fluids.
*  Get increased rest and sleep.

When to seek Immediate Medical Care:

* Fast breathing or difficulty breathing.
* Bluish or gray skin color.
* Not drinking enough fluids.
* Severe or persistent vomiting.
* Not waking up or interacting.
* Being so irritable that child doesn’t want to be held.
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

 

Please click on the links below to see the following letters concerning the Flu and the H1N1 Virus
September 24th, 2009 Information Letter on Flu and the H1N1 Virus
 
August 18th, 2009 Illinois State Board of Education & Illinois Public Health Department Letter to Parents

 

Any questions regarding vaccinations, availability and appointments should be directed to the Coles County Health Department at 348-0530.

 

 

 last updated: October 22, 2009