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Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

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October 11, 2009

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Information

(Updated: October 2009)
Many people are worried about H1N1 flu (swine flu) but there is no need to panic. Families, schools, health care providers and government agencies need to work together to limit the spread of the virus and protect anyone who is at risk of serious illness from the flu. Tips on how to prevent the spread of germsThe flu (influenza) is spread by coughing, sneezing and unclean hands.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone to prevent the spread of germs by doing the following:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
Put used tissues in the trash.
Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Wash with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand cleaner.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you get sick, stay home from work or school, and limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them. People should stay home at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100°F), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Who should get vaccinated
Vaccines play a large role in preventing illness. There are two types of flu vaccine and both are important.
Seasonal flu vaccine. It is important that all children ages 6 months through 18 years receive seasonal flu vaccine now. Call your pediatrician today to schedule an appointment.
H1N1 vaccine.
A separate vaccine to protect against H1N1 flu (swine flu) has been developed. The CDC expects the H1N1 vaccine to be available beginning in October.
The first people who should receive the H1N1 vaccine include:
Children ages 6 months through 24 years
Parents and caretakers of infants younger than 6 months
Pregnant women
Health care workers and emergency services personnel
Adults ages 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions
How families can protect themselves from swine fluExperts from the American Academy of Pediatrics answer questions about the swine flu. The following are links to three audio interviews:
Henry Bernstein, MD, FAAP, member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (recorded September 2009):
How Parents Can Protect Their Children from H1N1Information About H1N1 VaccineHow "Common" Are Colds and FluTreating Colds and Flu Without Drugs
Richard Besser, MD, FAAP, former acting director of the CDC (recorded May 2009)
Joseph Bocchini, MD, FAAP, chairman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (recorded May 2009) A note about antiviralsMost children will recover with rest and care at home. People in high-risk groups may need antiviral medicine. Antiviral medicine may help shorten the length of illness if taken soon after infection. If your child is in a high risk group and you suspect your child has influenza, or if your child has more severe influenza symptoms, call your pediatrician.Additional online resourcesFor Parents/Caregivers:
AAP 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) handout .
AAP Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Parents and Caregivers About H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) (AAP)
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine.
2009 H1N1 Live attenuated influenza vaccine (the nasal spray vaccine).
2009 H1N1 inactivated influenza vaccine (the flu shot).
CDC Recommendations for the Amount of Time Persons with Influenza-Like Illness Should be Away from Others (CDC)
Key Facts About Swine Flu (CDC)
Hand Washing (CDC)
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Resources for Pregnant Women (CDC)
Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and Feeding your Baby: What Parents Should Know (CDC)
Considerations for Pregnant Women Who are More Likely to be Exposed to H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus at work; Information for Women in Education, Child Care, and Health Care (CDC)
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You (CDC)
What to Do If You Get Flu-Like Symptoms (CDC)
Advice for Parents on Talking to Children About H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Concerns (CDC)
The CDC will answer questions from the general public about swine flu 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact CDC INFO at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
For Child Care Programs and Schools:
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Resources for K-12 Schools (CDC)
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Resources for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs (CDC)
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Resources for Colleges and Universities (CDC)
Excerpts from “Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide, Second Edition” (Copyright American Academy of Pediatrics 2009).
Hand Hygiene (AAP)
Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Other Infectious Disease Emergencies (AAP)
Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work and School (CDC)
Information about H1N1 flu (swine flu) in other Languages:
From the Office of Minority Health: Information on H1N1flu (Swine Flu) Multiple languages
CDC Resources in other languages
Spanish Information

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