The top health-related news story of 2009? The emergence of the H1N1 influenza, also known as the “Swine Flu.” First appearing last April in Mexico, H1N1 flu quickly reached pandemic status, infecting people in every nation.
So how can a person avoid H1N1? According to the Centers for Disease Control, people taking these five common-sense tips can avoid getting or passing on the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing, and especially before eating.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Or if a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses, including the H1N1, can spread from your hands into your body easily this way.
- If possible, avoid close contact with people with people who are ill. If that’s not possible, get immunized against the H1N1 and the regular seasonal flu.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with the flu, the CDC recommends staying home for seven days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer, to prevent spreading the virus.