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Pandemic

Influenza and H1N1 Information

 

Prevention

Get vaccinated
See your health care provider for the influenza vaccine.  Please note that the seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect you against H1N1 virus. 

Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.  Limited contact will help prevent others from catching your illness. 

Cover your mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.  If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve. 

   
Preparedness

Be prepared for an extended illness
During an extended illness, you may not be able to get to the store.  It is important you have extra supplies on hand. 

Ensure you have food, water, over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues, and other related items in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so.  

Avoid trips out in public whenever possible while you are sick and contagious. 

Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. 
Have non-prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins. 

Talk with family members and loved ones about how they will be cared for if they get sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home. 

Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home

   Bottled water 
   Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups 
   Protein or fruit bars 
   Dry cereal or granola 
   Peanut butter or nuts 
   Dried fruit 
   Crackers 
   Canned juices 
   Canned or jarred baby food and formula 
   Soap and water or alcohol-based (60-95%) hand wash 
   Pet food 
   Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment 
   Prescription medication 
   Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen 
   Thermometer 
   Anti-diarrheal medication 
   Vitamins 
   Fluids with electrolytes 
   Cleansing agent/soap 
   Garbage bags 
   Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers 

  
Protocols

PLEASE NOTE: This information is not meant to replace the instructions of your health care provider.   

You and your family may be sick for several days with fever and respiratory symptoms.  Take medications as prescribed

Seek emergency care

  Fast breathing or trouble breathing 
  
  Bluish or gray skin color
    
  Not drinking enough fluids 
  
  Severe or persistent vomiting 
 
  Not waking up or not interacting 
  
  Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held 
  
  Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 
  
  Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  
  Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen 
  
  Sudden dizziness 
  
  Confusion 
  
  Severe or persistent vomiting 
  
  Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 

Home care recommendations

  Follow the instructions of your health care provider
  
  Take all of the antiviral medication as directed
    
  Take medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or cough medicine as needed for symptom relief for fever and pain.  These medicines do not need to be taken regularly if your symptoms improve. 
        
  Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or products that contain aspirin to children or teenagers 18 years old or younger. 
    
  Children younger than 4 years of age should not be given over-the-counter cold medications without first speaking with a health care provider.  
    
  Continue to cover your cough and wash your hands often, even when taking antiviral medications, to prevent spreading influenza to others. 
  
  Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) 
   
  Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick. 
 
  Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated. 
 
  Dishes can be done in dishwasher or with hot soapy water. 
 
  Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by the sick person in the trash. Wash your hands after touching used tissues and similar waste. 
  
  Have everyone in the household wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. 
  
  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

 

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