H1N1 (Swine Flu) Awareness
What is H1N1? H1N1, or Swine Flu, is an acute viral infection caused by influenza A viruses. It can be spread from person to person and affects persons of all age groups. Swine Flu has caused some severe illness and even death that it has become an economic problem in some countries.
A person may come in contact with Swine Flu if they have travelled to a country that has a breakout, or have come in contact with a person who has the virus. Ways which the virus is spread are by droplets, for example, coughing, sneezing or talking. Items that were touched by an infected person who coughed in their hands is also a way of passing on the virus. You may have been in contact with the virus for at least one day before, or five to seven days after you start to see symptoms. Like the common flu, Swine Flu has some symptoms that we must be aware of. Some symptoms include,body aches, headache,fever about 100.5, body chills, dizziness, runny/stuffy nose, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea.
Persons who are at a higher risk of contracting the Swine Flu virus are children under the age of 2, adults over the age of 65, persons who are morbidly obese and those who have serious medical conditions with a weak immune system. To date, we have had one recorded case of Swine Flu in the British Virgin Islands.
It is better to prevent than to treat but in the event you suspect that you were in contact with an infected person, avoid contact with other persons, quarantine yourself for five to seven days or 24 hours after the fever has passed and seek medical attention.
It is important to take precautions. Wash hands regularly with soap and water. Cough in your elbow or a tissue. Use hand sanitizers, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and use a mask to help reduce the spread when at the doctor’s office or hospital. The virus cannot live outside a host for a long period of time.