What You Can Do To Prevent Getting H1N1

12/12/2009 15:25

The H1N1 started in Mexico and spread quickly throughout the world.  People call this flu all kinds of things.  Its original name was swine flu.  Then it was classified H1N1 or H1N1 Novel flu.  Of course then it gets turned around and called N1H1. It is different than previous strains because it has transferred fairly easily between humans around the world. The WHO finally raised the level of concern about the H1N1 Flu to a level 6. H1N1 Flu has become the first 21st century flu pandemic.


What is H1N1?


Swine influenza (swine flu) H1N1 is a respiratory disease which normally spreads pig to pig. Swine flu often causes high illness rates and low death rates in pigs. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the classical swine virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated in pigs in 1930.

Swine influenza is always changing and mutating. Pigs are vulnerable to Avian or bird flu and Human flu, therefore they often catch one or both, and the virus undergoes mutations through gene swapping leading to different strains. According to the WHO this appears to be a mutation of Avian (Bird) Flu, Human Flu and Swine Flu strains.


What are the Symptoms of H1N1


According to Dr. Mehmet Oz appearing on ABC news, it feels like having the flu. According to a number of sources the following have been reported with this flu.

(Cough; Congestion; Nasal Congestion; Body aches; Joint Pains; Fevers; Sore throat; Headaches; Fatigue; Decreased energy; vomiting )

In fact you could suffer these symptoms and it may be a regular human flu as opposed to H1N1. Only specific testing will prove whether the illness is H1N1related or not. Even though there's been a lot of talk about the deaths that are occurring due to this illness, the probability of death is very low. Normally a healthy person with a good immune system will come through it with no long term effects. As with most flues, the elderly, pregnant women and children are some of the ones most at risk, so some extra precautions should be taken to protect them.


Things to do to prevent getting H1N1:


1. Frequent hand-washing


2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face unless you want to eat or bathe.

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tami flu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. You can blow the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.


7. Household Cleaning. Clean all the household essentials such as toothbrush, dishes and so on, if necessary, an ultrasonic cleaner can be used.

All these are simple ways to prevent within means of most households, and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.