H1N1 Influenza and You

La Crosse County Health Department
– Nursing Division

What is H1N1 flu?

  • Respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses.
  • People do not normally get influenza from pigs, but human infections can happen and cause illness.

What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu in people?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting in some cases
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions

How does H1N1 flu spread?

  • Through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza
  • Touching contaminated surfaces
  • Can spread to others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming sick.
  • NOT spread by food.

What is being done to protect the public?

  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is performing an ongoing investigation and response effort surrounding the outbreak of H1N1 flu
  • Health officials in the US, Canada, and Mexico are working closely together to respond to potential cases

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Throw tissue in the trash Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • NO VACCINE to protect against H1N1 flu at this time
  • Eat well Get enough rest

What precautions should I take when traveling?

  • Monitor the local situation
  • Be aware of local government announcements
  • Practice healthy habits
  • Seek medical care if sick during travels
  • Once you have returned watch for any symptoms, and contact your healthcare professional if necessary

What should I do if I get sick?

  • Contact your healthcare provider if you have been exposed to someone with H1N1 flu AND are having flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home
  • Avoid contact with other people as much as possible
  • Do not go to work, school, or travel if ill

How serious is H1N1 flu?

  • Varies in severity just like seasonal flu.
  • Some cases may be mild while others are more severe.
  • There is no indication H1N1 flu is more or less severe than seasonal flu at this time.

Coughing and Sneezing

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Put used tissue in the waste basket.
  • If you do not have a tissue still cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Always clean your hands every time you cough or sneeze.

Hand Washing

  • Wash with soap and water for 15-20 seconds.
  • When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.

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