H1N1 101: What you need to know

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If you think you may have the flu call your health care provider. Do not travel and do not go to school!

Flu Symptoms
A person may have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever (not everyone has a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes, diarrhea and vomiting
The situation is evolving so quickly that nearly everyone has questions and is confused.

Here are a few key points:

  • Right now, the only flu that is going around the US is the Swine Flu.
  • Unfortunately, the number of serious cases is increasing
  • Pregnant women and young children are at highest risk - 95 deaths so far and it's just starting
  • The H1N1 (swine) flu is more deadly than the regular flu
For more information, visit the following websites:
>> Center for Disease Control
>> Nurse Barb's blog
>> Blue Orchid Guides

Top 5 questions and answers on flu vaccines

1. What flu vaccines are available now?

>> There is a Flu Mist - this is a nasal spray that protects against H1N1 (swine flu) and an injectable vaccine.

>> The Flu Mist is for: people 2 - 49 who DO NOT have any underlying health problems, health care workers, people who care for or work with infants & small children

>> The mist is Not to be used in pregnant women as it contains the live virus

>> The Seasonal flu vaccine is ALSO available now, though supplies are low, (because the manufacturers were busy making H1N1 vaccine)

2. Who should be vaccinated for H1N1 with the injectable vaccine? >> Pregnant women - (they are at highest risk of severe pneumonia)

>> Health care workers and emergency personnel like firefighters, police, etc

>> Children 6 months to 24 years

>> People over 24 who have chronic health problems such as asthma or a compromised immune system

3. How many doses of H1N1 will people need?

>> For people 10 and older, just one dose

>> For children 9 and younger 2 doses for H1N1

4. Can people get the Seasonal Flu and the H1N1 at the same time?

>> Yes, they can if they use the injectable vaccines. Not if they use either of the Nasal spray inhaled vaccines, as these contain the live virus.

5. What about Side Effects?

>> Good news, the side effects are similar to those of the seasonal flu vaccine, soreness at the site of the injection. Very few people have other symptoms, but those might be headache, muscle aches, not feeling well.

TO CLARIFY:
Because there are two different vaccines for two different kinds of flu (swine and regular), in addition to two different treatments, here is a simplified breakdown:

H1N1 (SWINE FLU) VACCINES

Nasal spray
For people 2 - 49

Injection
For people 6 months to 64 years
Ok for pregnant women
OK for people with chronic medical conditions

SEASONAL FLU VACCINES

Nasal spray
For people 2 - 49
Not for pregnant women

Injection
For people 6 months to 64 years
Ok for pregnant women
OK for people with chronic medical conditions

TREATMENTS FOR THE H1N1 AND SEASONAL FLU
Tamiflu tablets
Relenza oral inhaler

>> MORE SWINE FLU RESOURCES

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