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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Three ways to protect yourself from the potential Swine flu pandemic

This is simple, straightforward advice even for Republicans.

1. Sanitize -- i.e. Wash Your Hands Frequently. It may sound obvious, but hand-washing with soap and water for around 20 seconds is the single best thing you can do (if you're going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings). The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands. If you can't wash your hands regularly, try hand-sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol content.
2. Avoid -- i.e. Engage in Social Distancing." That's the fancy term for staying away from other people if you're sick or if you're concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to, say, work, but experts believe it's worth repeating: Isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.
(Researchers in the UK - mentioned above and sponsored by a common cold remedy - found that 99 per cent of commuters suffer at least one cold per winter. By contrast, 58 per cent of peole who work from home and 88 per cent of those who walk to work caught a cold last winter).
3. Be Alert -- i.e. Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help. Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu: Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you don't feel well, seek medical attention. So far, it's important to note, this swine flu is treatable (and absolutely survivable). It's resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu: Symmetrel and Flumadine. But two newer antivirals - Tamiflu and Relenza - appear to work.

(info gleaned from a long post on Huffington Post)