Swine flu – stay on the alert!


04-July-2009

People may become infected by touching something with A(H1N1) flu virus on it, such as a droplet from a sneeze on a tabletop or door knob, and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.

Symptoms

Like the common flu, A(H1N1) flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe.
 
It is important to note that an infected person may be able to infect others one day before they even start developing symptoms and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.

This means that a person may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before they know they are sick, as well as while they are sick.

Management

If you get sick with flu and fever within two weeks of arrival in Seychelles, do not come to the health centre. Instead, stay at home and call your health centre to receive advice on what to do. Make sure you tell the doctor that you have recently travelled.

Ensure you follow these pieces of advice:

■ Avoid close contact with others at home. Do not go to work or school while ill with flu and fever. Do not receive any visitors. Stay at home for seven days after the start of your illness and go out only after your fever has gone.

■ Stay in a room separate from the common areas of the house. Ensure the room is well ventilated. Use a separate bathroom if possible or disinfect the bathroom (using household detergents such as Dettol) after use.
 
■ Use your own towel. To avoid confusion, use a towel which is different in colour from those used by other members of the family.

■ Disinfect any other areas that you touch, for example door knobs and handles.

■ Cover your mouth and nose, and clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing. Throw any used tissues properly into the bin.

■ Drink plenty of water to so you don’t become dehydrated. Get plenty of rest.

Prevention to stay healthy
 
If you are travelling to a country where A(H1N1) flu has been identified:
■ Try to avoid close contact with other people.

■ Do not go to places where many people are congregating.

■ Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and dispose of the tissue in the bin after use.

■ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible.

■ Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds. If you have them, you can also use alcohol-based hand cleaners or sanitisers, but make sure you rub your hands until the gel is dry.

It is best to take these precautions when travelling to ANY country, whether or not they have been identified as having influenza A(H1N1) cases.

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