How to Prevent Illness from the H1N1 Virus
The following are some simple steps you can take to decrease the chances of spreading the H1N1 virus that may cause illness:
- try to minimize contact with people that are sick
- cover your nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing (donít re-use tissues; throw away after one use)
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- frequently wash hands with warm water and soap (wash for at least 20 seconds and concentrate on nail beds, knuckles, wrists and the back of the hands)
- use hand sanitizers when soap and water is not available. In a September 22, 2009 broadcast of the Minnesota Public Radio's Mid-Morning show, Dr. Jim Turner of the University of Virginia and President of the American College Health Association stated that overall H1N1 infections decrease as more people within a community use hand sanitizers as part of their hand hygiene regiment, particularly when hand washing is not an option.
- use a face mask if you are infected and must come in close contact with others, or if you are not infected but are at high-risk for severe illness
- vaccine Ė the regular seasonal vaccine is not a replacement for the H1N1 vaccine (if you are concerned about mercury content in vaccinations, there will be vaccines available without mercury in them)
- use hand sanitizers when soap and water is not available
The CDC offers additional steps to lessen the spread of flu in the home on their website.