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September 2nd, 2009
06:27 AM ET

H1N1: What you can do to stay healthy

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Situation Update:

Each week CDC analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators in a report called FluView. During the week of August 16-22, 2009, a review of these key indicators found that influenza activity is either stable, or is increasing in some areas. Activity appears to be increasing in the Southeast based on influenza-like illness data reported by health care providers. Below is a summary of the most recent key indicators: Learn More »

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The image above of the newly identified H1N1 influenza virus was taken in the CDC Influenza Laboratory."]

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy:

  • Stay informed. This website will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
    • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
  • Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.

For more information, visit the CDC's H1N1 Web site »

CNN Health: Dr. Gupta offers advice to parents on H1N1

Filed under: Health
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Frank McAllan, MPH

    If the H1N1 virus is anything like Norovirus on cruise ships, inaminate objects such as doorknobs and desktops used by multiple students during a school day will be a much larger issue than being around an infected person that "sneezes" or "coughs" near other students.

    For this reason, all parents should encourage their children to carry and use disinfecting surface wipes that contain Ethanol Alcohol (approx 60%) each and every time they change classes and sit at a new desk.

    Also, after wiping the desktop down, consider "fecal shedding" of asymptomatic, but still infectious students, that retun to schools and sit at the same desk as your children. For this reason, be sure to ask your children to be sure "wipe-down" their desk seat and wait between one to five minutes before sitting down (which may irritate their teachers).

    Parents should also ask their school administrators for their written infectious disease risk management plan. This plan should detail how often each inanimate object (fomite) in the school is disinfected, whether or not any students have been detected at that school. Listed items in this report should address school doorknobs, desktops, seats and bathrooms–and the report should state the type of cleaner and processes used by the janitorial staff each evening before each school day begins.

    Finally, parents should be aware if even one person in the school system is diagnosed with H1N1 and the school policy of releasing this information to parents. Parents should be aware that there is an incubation period during which a student is infectious, but not showing any symptoms (pre-asymptomatic). This is why continuous implementation of the school risk management plan is so important to reducing illness.

    Relating H1N1 outbreaks in schools to Norovirus incidence on cruise ships, hospitals and long-term healthcare settings–continuous sanitation will certainly affect (reduce) the number of students that may become ill–if and when it H1N1 'strikes' your school.

    September 2, 2009 at 9:37 am |