WHAT IS PANDEMIC H1N1 (SWINE) FLU?
It is a type of flu caused by a new virus. When a new flu virus emerges, no one has immunity.
Because everyone is susceptible and no one is immune, the flu can quickly go from being an epidemic, that affects a large number of people at the same time, to a pandemic of illness that spreads quickly across a large region, such as a continent or even worldwide.
Recognize the symptoms of Pandemic H1N1 (Swine) Flu.
Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever (may be 101oF or higher) and any of the following:
What can I do to prevent getting sick with Pandemic or Seasonal Flu?
Avoid close contact with those that are ill. Practice frequent hand washing and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as these are easy entry points for the virus. Practice good health habits, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting sufficient rest.
To prevent the spread of germs remember to cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. Also, it is important to stay home if you are sick with a fever and other flu like symptoms to avoid sharing the virus with others.
Most importantly, get the flu shot when it is available!
This is the first and most important step to protect against getting the regular or pandemic flu. You need a seasonal flu vaccine (shot) every year, so contact your medical provider to find out when and how to get flu vaccine. A new vaccine for the Pandemic H1N1 Flu may be ready later this year.
Medications that may help lessen the symptoms of flu:
Warning! Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is not recommended for children or teenagers who have the flu; it can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
For one stop access to U.S. government information on pandemic flu and to learn more about how to protect yourself, family and others against the Pandemic H1N1 (Swine) flu, visit www.Flu.gov.
For local information about pandemic preparedness, go to San Mateo County Health Department's pandemic flu information and resources.