Five Tips for Staying Swine Flu Free

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Since April, rarely a day goes by that we don’t hear about Swine Flu.  Often we hear it mentioned  on the news or in the papers, or even perhaps from a friend who knows someone, who knows someone that has been diagnosed with the H1N1 themselves. 

But what is Swine flu and what can you do to keep yourself and your family Swine Flu free?

The technical term for Swine Flu is H1N1. It was originally called Swine Flu because some of the genes in the virus appeared to be similar to the influenza viruses that normally strike pigs. Swine Flu is thought to spread from person to person like any other type of flu virus. It can be spread by coughing, sneezing or by touching.  

The good news is, there are some things you and your family can do to lessen your risk of contracting this serious strain of the flu.

To keep your family Swine Flu free, follow these five tips:

  1. Wash your hands (and encourage family members to wash theirs) often with soap and water. Click here to learn about proper hand washing technique.
  2. Use alcohol based hand cleaners and sanitizers when soap and water is not easily accessible.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs can easily enter the body through these areas.
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Teach young kids to catch their cough or sneeze into a tissue.

Families should also follow the advice of local health official with regards to school closings and attending gatherings of large crowds. Individuals should also speak with their healthcare provider to see if the flu shot is right for them or their children.

If you or someone in your family is experiencing flu-like symptoms contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Read more about Swine Flu from the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm.

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