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H1N1 Prevention Tips

h1n1Everywhere we turn these days, we’re met with more news about the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. The news media are quick to report the latest about the illness, and in October, President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency, saying that “the rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation.” The U.S. Government is even offering the H1N1 vaccine for free.

Does that mean you need to run out and get the next available H1N1 shot? Not necessarily. H1N1 is a virus spreading from person to person much the way the regular seasonal flu is spread, and while a number of people in the United States have become ill with the virus, most have recovered without needing medical treatment.

But just like the seasonal flu, there are many things you can do besides getting an H1N1 vaccination that will help prevent you from getting sick with the virus. Be proactive and protect yourself this holiday season by doing the following:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away once you’ve used it.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you begin to show flu-like symptoms, you should avoid contact with others until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. A person infected with H1N1 is able to infect others from one day before getting sick to five to seven days after being ill.
  • Wash your hands often and well. Use soap and water and wash for 15 to 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an anti-bacterial, alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Don’t touch your nose or mouth. If you have to touch your face for some reason, make sure your hands were recently washed.
  • Follow advice regarding public health issues. If there are school closures or warnings against large crowds of people in relation to the spread of H1N1, pay attention to the advice and keep your distance.
  • Help your immune system by getting plenty of vitamin C, such as through citrus fruits. If you need to supplement your diet, vitamin C tablets are available to help boost your body’s tolerance to illness.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even though our schedules can get a bit chaotic over the holidays, don’t forget to take care of your body by eating well and exercising often. Visit your upper cervical chiropractor to ensure your body is functioning properly.

Learn more about the H1N1 virus and how you can protect yourself from it this holiday season when you attend one of Specific Chiropractic Center’s last workshops of the year. Join us this month as we offer recommendations on how you can boost your immunity and ring in the New Year happy, healthy and H1N1 free.

References:

2009 H1N1 Flu (“Swine Flu”) and You. (November 5, 2009) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm

Griffith, Tiffani Kim. Avoiding ‘swine flu’ takes common sense, simple precautions. (November 30, 2009) Today’s Chicago Woman. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/todays-chicago-woman/2009/11/avoiding-swine-flu-takes-common-sense-simple-precautions.html

Obama declares H1N1 emergency. (October 26, 2009) CNN. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/24/h1n1.obama/index.html