With the swine Flu grabbing the headlines lately I thought I would post some information about how we can avoid putting ourselves at risk.
Since 1997 experts have warned us of a horrific worldwide influenza outbreak, when the first human cases of so-called H5N1 avian influenza were reported in Hong Kong. Two years ago it was the bird-flu but that didnt ripen into a pandemic. Now we are sitting and waiting to see what will become of the latest – Swine Flu.
Some of the following may seem very simple but can really help decrease chances for infection.
1. Take the time to learn about the Swine Flu now, prepare yourself for all of the possibilities now.
2. Practice CDC-recommended hygiene techniques that we all should be using on a daily basis anyway:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away after you use it.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth since germs can spread this way. Your children will learn this quickly if you teach them.
- Get in the habit of washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Although influenza spreads by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, it can be carried on other surfaces.
3. Purchase face masks now rather than if and when a pandemic begins as they will be harder to come by. They are only a few dollars each and are great to have on hand. (Masks with a rating of N95 or higher are apt to be more protective.)
4. Plan ways to minimize contact with others whether it is through business or school. Large public events, buffets, picnics are all places where we can cut back with human contact now.