The risk of transmission of the H1N1 virus can be considerably reduced by strictly following the precautions for swine flu. The following HealthHearty article provides information on the precautionary measures that should be taken for preventing the spread of this viral disease.
Swine flu, which is caused by a strain of influenza virus H1N1, is a respiratory disease. It is a strain that contains the combination of swine, avian, and human influenza viruses. The variant that used to infect only pigs has now begun to infect humans as well. Thus, one needs to follow some precautions for the prevention of swine flu.
As mentioned above, this form of flu is spread through person-to-person contact. The infection spreads when a healthy person comes in contact with an infected one. According to World Health Organization, swine flu has been declared as a pandemic disease. The following are the WHO safety precautions to be taken against this infection:
- The nose and mouth must be covered with disposable tissues while coughing or sneezing.
- The used tissues must be disposed off immediately.
- Hygiene and cleanliness must be maintained by washing hands frequently with soap and water.
- Touching the eyes, nose, or mouth without washing hands must be totally avoided.
- A doctor must be consulted immediately, in case flu-like symptoms are observed.
- In case of flu-like symptoms, the patient must be quarantined.
- One should stay at home from work, school, and crowded places, if flu-like symptoms are observed.
Face masks and gloves must be used when moving out in crowded places or nursing any ill patient. If a person is ill, then he or she should avoid contact with other people and stay isolated. Visit an authorized hospital or doctor for further treatment. One should keep their surroundings clean and maintain hygiene.
Precautions for Schools
This infection spreads easily in schools as children tend to stay in close proximity and forget to follow basic precautions for its prevention. However, there are certain guidelines for schools that must be followed. These measures include:
- The child should stay at home when sick or not feeling well.
- Hands should be washed with a sanitizer/soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
- A hand sanitizer should be used when one cannot wash hands with soap and water.
- The school authorities should wash the surfaces like doorknobs, toys, keyboards, etc., at least twice a day.
- Any student who develops the symptoms should be isolated.
Precautionary Measures for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are at risk of developing this form of flu. As the uterus grows in size due to the developing fetus, the diaphragm gets compressed. This reduces the air movement in lungs, which in turn, makes pregnant women prone to respiratory infections. There are certain precautionary measures that should be followed by pregnant women. These include:
- Avoid unnecessary traveling, and stay away from crowded areas.
- Wash your hands more often to lower the risk of infections.
- Avoid traveling by trains, buses, trams, etc.
- Refrain from using subways and other crowded transport systems.
- Pregnant women developing fever or flu-like symptoms, should visit the doctor immediately. They should be treated with Tamiflu within 24 to 48 hours after the symptoms begin.
- Pregnant women should also follow all the general guidelines given by the WHO.
Swine flu can prove to be a fatal disease in the absence of prompt treatment. Therefore, medical attention must be sought by those who develop flu-like symptoms. Do not wait to see if the symptoms recede on their own. You are putting your own life at risk.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.