The flu season is upon us and the experts are predicting this year could be of epidemic proportions due to the Swine flu, the H1N1 virus, that is been criss-crossing our nation since April of this year. Chances are that you or someone you know will be infected with Swine flu. You can reduce your risk and hopefully altogether avoid contacting these Swine flu protection tips.
The things that you can do to protect yourself against the Swine flu (H1N1 virus) are just common sense things that we have been told a thousand times before but not heeded.
Maintaining healthy habits is your first line of defense to avoid contacting Swine flu. The H1N1 virus (or any flu virus) is spread person to person through the mucus of a cough or sneeze and can also be contacted by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it. When a person that has Swine flu coughs or sneezes into their hand, then shakes hands with you, or touches a doorknob, shopping cart handle, etc., and you unwittingly get the live flu virus germs on your hand and then touch your nose, mouth or eyes, you have possibly transferred the Swine flu virus into your own system.
Wash your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands some more when you are in a public location, including your work environment. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby and use it often. Keep Kleenex and/or sanitizing wipes handy to place on doorknobs before opening or to disinfect any handles that you might have to touch. This may sound extreme, may look extreme when carried out in public, but the H1N1 virus is nothing to mess around with and has already claimed several lives since it’s onset in April 2009, and if you don’t protect yourself, who will?
Get plenty of rest during flu season to help keep your immune system strong. Sleep deprivation weakens your natural defenses and puts you at a greater risk for contacting Swine flu. Eat healthy well balanced diets and drink plenty of fluids to keep your immune system strong too.
Get vaccinated. The Swine flu vaccine is slated to be ready by mid-October, protect yourself by getting vaccinated, especially if you are in a high risk group for contacting the H1N1 virus. Those at high risk are: Children; anyone over 50; pregnant women; anyone with chronic medical conditions, nursing home residents and health care workers.
Common sense hygiene practices are the best ways to avoid contacting the H1N1 virus, and one last common sense thought: If you do contact seasonal flu or Swine flu, please stay home so you won’t spread the virus.