Lately, every time we turn on the news, the H1N1 virus is the top story of the day. The disease is becoming more widespread and people are concerned for their health and safety. H1N1 is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. Normally, people are not affected, but human infections can happen and as we have seen recently, have happened.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting, as well. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that the flu is contagious before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. The newest research has shown that people are still contagious past the fever point and remain contagious until the coughing subsides.
There are many precautions that you can take to decrease your chance of contracting the flu. Practicing good hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs. As with any illness, supporting your immune system with healthy diet and lifestyle practices is critical.
Here are some steps to reduce your risk of getting sick:
1. SCRUB! Wash your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds — and wash them often. If you can’t wash, then use hand sanitizer. Use sanitary wipes to clean phone mouthpieces, door knobs, computer keyboards, and other hands-on surfaces.
2. COVER! Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands, where germs will be spread onto everything you touch. Instead, use a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
3. HANDS OFF! Don’t touch your face. Flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you travel or are exposed to lots of people, you may increase your resistance by using throat sprays and zinc lozenges.
4. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT with people, especially if they are sick. Skip the hugs and kisses and just say hello.
5. SUPPLEMENT! Keep your immune system strong with a powerful immune formula such as Pathway IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT. New research also strongly supports the role of vitamin D3 in flu prevention. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to lowered immunity. Experts suggest taking at least 2000 IU daily to boost immune function and for its anti-inflammatory activity.
6. STAY HOME! If you are not feeling well, do yourself and everyone a favor and stay home to stop the spread of the flu.
These tips are not meant to take the place of your physician’s advice. If you think you have the flu, please follow the guidelines from the CDC and contact your doctor immediately.