Bulletin : Influenza A H1N1 Virus

DATE : 25 May 2009
TO : The Academic Community

FROM : The DLSU Medical and Dental Services
RE: Questions & Answers on the Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu)
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Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What is H1N1 (Swine flu)?

Influenza A H1N1 (referred to as "Swine flu") is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This virus is spreading from person-to-person, much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. This virus was originally referred to as "swine flu" because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America.

Is the H1N1 virus contagious?

The H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?

The symptoms of this new H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.

How does this new virus spread?

Spread of the H1N1 virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?

This virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, may be contagious for longer periods.

Can I get infected with the H1N1 virus from eating or preparing pork?

No. The H1N1 virus is not spread by food. You cannot get this H1N1 virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

Is there a risk from drinking water?

Tap water that has been treated by conventional disinfection processes does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of the novel H1N1 flu virus to conventional drinking water treatment processes.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

Vaccine against H1N1 virus is not yet available. However, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in
    the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been
    symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to seek medical care.

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.

For more comprehensive information:

 

Contact Information

Medical and Dental Services
Main: Ground Floor, Br. Gabriel Connon Hall
(Student Personnel Services Building)
2401 Taft Avenue, Malate
1004 Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos.: (63.2) 536.0252; 524.4611 loc. 710
Email: University Clinic

Marketing Communication Office
21st Floor, Brother Andrew Gonzalez Hall
2401 Taft Avenue, Malate
1004 Manila, Philippines
Tel. No.: (63.2) 526.5913
E-Mail: Director for Operations