ECHN Offers Information and Advice Regarding Swine Flu

Apr 28, 2009 - 

The human swine flu (H1N1 virus) outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. ECHN would like to reassure our community that we have plans in place for dealing with patients with possible swine flu. We share the following advice:

Continue to Follow General Precautions

Practice good hygiene:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel
  • Appropriately use gloves and face masks
  • Stay home if showing any symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and body aches, and fatigue)
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (not with your hand)
  • Avoid shaking hands if possible
  • Throw used tissues in a trash can

If you begin to feel sick and experience the above symptoms, seek medical care immediately from your primary care physician rather than going to the Emergency Department. Your doctor will send you to the ED if that level of care is necessary.

Know the Symptoms

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include:

  • Fever (greater that 100F)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache and body aches
  • Fatigue

Treatment

The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is sensitive to antiviral medications, i.e. Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu®) and Zanamivir (brand name Relenza®). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided guidelines for the treatment of patients who become ill.

It is important to be aware that seasonal influenza continues. What originally appeared to be cases secondary to the swine flu have turned out to be cases that are secondary to seasonal influenza.

For more information concerning the swine flu infection, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu.


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