H1N1 flu background

April 29, 2009 (Updated May 4, 2009) — We know that the recent news regarding the swine influenza outbreak can seem overwhelming. What is important to know now is what you can do to prevent exposure, how to recognize symptoms and when to seek medical assistance.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is keeping the country updated on developments in this outbreak. We continue to receive communiqués reiterating the importance of good hand washing, coughing into the sleeve rather than hands, not sharing items that come in contact with the mouth, avoiding touching the face and staying home if you're ill with fever (above 100 degrees F), body aches, sore throat, cough, and headache.

If you have traveled to any of the areas of concern and are having symptoms, or come in contact with persons who are having symptoms of the flu and may have traveled to these areas (www.cdc.gov/travel), please call Baird Health or your health care provider for information.

But what else can you do in your lifestyle to promote a healthy immune system? Now is a good time to assess your personal practices. How well do you do stay hydrated? Are you getting enough sleep? Does your diet contain lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats? Do you take vitamins? How well are you managing your stress? Do you exercise? Do you avoid drinking alcohol excessively? This is the time to be proactive and respond by taking good care of yourself and in addition to following the CDC recommendations.

The CDC tells us the following about the swine influenza:

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur. Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu virus spreads from human to human and can cause illness.

Additional Information:

Baird Health & Counseling Center (BHCC) staff would be happy to assist you in answering or addressing any questions as our students make the final push for the 2008-2009 academic year.

For more information, please contact Baird Health & Counseling Center at (603) 526-3621.