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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 (dont 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 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.

Two Most Common Ways the H1N1 Virus is Spread
What to Do If Illness Occurs
101 Places Germs Live
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