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H1N1 Precautions

The A(H1N1) influenza pandemic began April 2009 and ended August 2010.

The following information also is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu in people?

The symptoms mimic regular human flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people suffer diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illness and death is possible. Similar to seasonal flu, H1N1 flu may worsen underlying chronic medical conditions.

Is there a test for H1N1 flu?

Yes. A simple nasal swab is all that is needed; it will be sent to a laboratory to test for the virus.

How does H1N1 flu spread?

H1N1 flu is highly contagious. The viruses are spread person-to-person primarily when infected persons cough and/or sneeze. Persons may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. You cannot get H1N1 flu by eating pork.

Are there medicines to treat H1N1 flu?

Yes. Antiviral drugs can make you feel better faster and may prevent serious complications. Antiviral drugs work best if started within two days of onset of symptoms.

How long can an infected person spread H1N1 flu to others?

People with H1N1 flu may be contagious as long as they are symptomatic and up to 1-2 days before symptoms begin. Self-isolate and avoid others for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine, except to get medical care or other necessities.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

No vaccine is available to protect against H1N1 flu. Take these commonsense steps to protect yourself from H1N1 flu and any influenza virus:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Do not pick up used tissues or share eating utensils, bedding or other items with a person who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often.

What should I do if I get sick?

Students should contact Student Health Services (SHS) 574.807.7370 for an appointment.

  • Avoid close contact with others – do not go to work or school while ill. Stay home or in your room for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the use fever-reducing medication).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after using tissues and after coughing or sneezing into hands.
  • Throw into the trash any tissues and other disposable items used by the sick person. Wash your hands after touching used tissues and similar waste.
  • Wipe surfaces (bedside tables, bathroom surfaces, door handles, phones, keyboards/mouse, etc) with a household disinfectant, following directions on the product label.
  • Don’t share linens, eating utensils and dishes used by the sick. Wash eating utensils with water and soap.

Learn more about H1N1 flu:

For further information call United Way 2-1-1