Note : Please realize that this tips and information is not an official advice, especially the one about face masks or N95.
will face masks and N95 respirators protect us from H1N1 ?
The hype in media about the utility of face masks and N95 respirators as a tool for general
protection against H1N1 can't be deplored enough.
Most N95 respirators are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3µ, while the size of H1N1 virus is about 0.1µ. Hence, dependence on N95 to protect against H1N1 is like protecting against rain with an umbrella made of mosquito net.
- Fever, moderately high, but unlike seasonal flu, can be absent in some cases too
- Non productive Cough
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Body ache
- Fatigue/tiredness that can be extreme
- Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure
H1N1 Precautions :
Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper
respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/ throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a
problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps - not fully highlighted in most official communications - can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds
dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households, and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.
H1N1 Screening Centers
No.2 Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore - 560001
Old Airport Road, Bangalore - 560 017
Ph: 080-2502 4444 / 3344
St Martha's Hospital
No.5, Nrupathunga Road, Bangalore-560001
Ph: 080-22275081 / 22275082 / 22275083 / 22275084
Mallige Medical Centre
31/32, Crescent Road, Bangalore- 560 001 India.
Ph: 080-22203333, 41138883
St John's Medical College and Hospital
Sarjapur Road, Bangalore – 560 034
#82, Nallurahalli, Near BMTC 18th Depot, Whitefield,
Ph: 080-23131777, 080-23131778, 080-23131779
M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital
M. S. Ramaiah Medical College
Ph: 080-2360 5190/23601742/23601743/23605408
#877, Modi Hospital Road,
Ph: 080 - 41354444 (30 lines), 51270776 / 7
Mahabodhi Mallige hospital
T. Mariappa Road, I Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore- 560 011
What is swine flu?
So far, the recent outbreak due to the new strain of influenza virus A (H1N1) has had cases reported from North America, Mexico, Spain and UK. Suspect cases have been reported from New Zealand and France and these are being investigated.
It spreads in the same way as seasonal influenza – through direct contact (being within one metre of an infected person) or indirect contact (touching a contaminated surface). People usually get swine influenza from infected pigs, however, some human cases lack contact history with pigs or environments where pigs have been located. Human-to-human transmission has occurred in some instances but was limited to close contacts and closed groups of people.
What are the clinical symptoms?
Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza but reported clinical presentation ranges broadly from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia resulting in death. Patients experience high fever, cough, and sore throat, symptoms similar to typical influenza, with some patients experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting. The cases can rapidly progress to severe and unusual pneumonia.
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