2009 Influenza A (H1N1) (previously referred to as 'new strain of swine flu') is a new strain of the influenza virus that spreads from human to human.Influenza A (H1N1) is a viral respiratory disease that presents flu-like symptoms.
What are the signs and symptoms of infection?
The symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1) are similar to the symptoms of the seasonal flu.These symptoms can vary in severity from mild to severe,and include the following:
High fever (>38C)
What can I do to protect myself and others against the Influenza A (H1N1)?
Practice good personal hygiene and be socially responsible by:
Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, especially before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Turning quickly away from anyone near you if you are about to cough or sneeze, and do not cough or sneeze at him/her
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissue properly in the dust bin after use
Avoiding crowded places if you are unwell and wear a surgical mask to cover your nose and mouth
Staying home from work or school when you are sick
Using a serving spoon when sharing food at meal times.
Also, leading a healthy lifestyle helps to build up your immunity and protects you against infection.
Eat a balanced diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables
Be active. Do 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week
Learn to relax and get enough sleep and rest
Do not smoke
There are antiviral medications available to treat Influenza A (H1N1),such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).They fight against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus reproducing itself in the body. When taken early (within 2 days of the appearance of symptoms),these medicines may:
Reduce the severity of the infection with faster recovery from the illness
Prevent serious complications
If you have travelled to any Influenza A (H1N1) affected areas or have come in close contact with a person with Influenza A (H1N1) and have developed a fever (temperature >38oC) with either cough,runny nose or sore throat within 7 days after your return,please contact your doctor.
How does Influenza A (H1N1) spread among humans?
The spread of Influenza A (H1N1) is similar to the seasonal flu. It can be spread when an infected person coughs,sneezes or speaks.It can also be spread when a person touches a contaminated surface and then touches his or her nose or mouth.
Is Influenza A (H1N1) infection serious?
Influenza A (H1N1) in humans can range from mild illness to a serious, life-threatening illness. Deaths from pneumonia and respiratory failure have been reported with Influenza A (H1N1) infection.
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