Sunday, November 22, 2009
Luke Gerram Virus Sculpture photo from http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2009/sep/02
Get informed about H1N1, get vigilant and protect you and the ones you love against the flu.
Following article courtesy of the Government of Ontario.
This year it's a different flu season
How can you tell if you or your child has H1N1?
Use Ontario’s online self-assessment tool which helps to diagnose the symptoms.
What to Do When Your Child is Sick with Influenza
1. Treat your child’s fever
Take off heavy clothing and blankets.
Dress the child in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature at 20°C (68°F).
Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and muscle pain in the dose recommended on the package (unless your doctor says otherwise).
Note : Do NOT give acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®), or any cold medicine that has ASA, to children or teenagers under the age of 18.
2. Treat your child’s other flu symptoms
Encourage your child to get plenty of rest.
Use salt-water nose drops to treat a stuffy nose.
Ask your pharmacist about any over-the-counter medicines for cough.
3. Protect others from flu
Keep your child at home until his/her fever has been absent for at least 24 hours and he or she is feeling well enough to resume normal activities. It’s important for your child to stay home if there’s fever so that the virus doesn’t spread to other children.
Your child can return to school 24 hours after the fever has resolved and he/she is feeling well enough to get back to normal activities.
When should you seek medical care for your child?
Use Ontario’s influenza assessment tool
(link: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/tools/assessment/default.aspx) to see whether your child needs medical care.
Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider if your child is under age 5 and develops flu symptoms. The risk of complications from flu is higher for children under age 2.
Where is the shot available?
Many health care providers, Family Health Teams and Community Health Centres are now offering the flu vaccine. Moms should call their doctor’s office first to see if they offer the shot, and if not there is updated listing of flu clinics here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/clinics.aspx. This list is updated regularly.
Children are highly susceptible to the H1N1 virus, it is recommended that parents get their children immunized over the next few weeks.
Depending on their age and health conditions, some children should receive two half-doses of H1N1 flu vaccine, administered at least 21 days apart.
If you have already had your child vaccinated, and they are between 6 months and 35 months old, they may be due for a second dose. Check with your health care provider or take a look at the chart here: (link to: dose chart on Ontario.ca/flu)
Seniors with underlying health conditions
Adults aged 65 and older seem to have more protection against getting H1N1 flu than the general public but those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to serious complications and death if they do contract the disease.
Seniors with underlying health conditions will be offered the vaccine in the offices of their family health care providers.
Information for pregnant women
Pregnant women are no more likely to get the H1N1 flu virus than the rest of the population, but they are more likely to develop complications from an influenza infection.
Most pregnant women who get the H1N1 flu experience mild symptoms of influenza. They will be sick for a few days with fever and cough, and then recover. A small number may become severely ill and require hospitalization.
As with seasonal influenza, pregnant women, especially those in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, and women up to 6 weeks after delivery are at a higher risk of developing complications from influenza (e.g., pneumonia).
Wouldn’t if just be safer to not get vaccinated at all during pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, your immune system is suppressed. This puts pregnant women among those who are most at risk of complications from catching the H1N1 virus.
So it is strongly recommended that pregnant women receive an H1N1 vaccination so you can avoid catching the H1N1 flu.
The vaccine is safe for pregnant women. The vaccine does not contain live virus; you cannot contract H1N1 flu from it. Unadjuvanted vaccine is being offered and can be administered at any stage of pregnancy. Link for pregnant women: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/pregnant.aspx
I laid on the couch (two of them pushed together to create our bed during this renovation period )exhausted and hurting. I felt as if someone had taken offense and beat the crap out of my left arm, but no, I had demanded that a health professional stick a needle into my arm to protect me against the H1N1 virus.
I deliberated whether this "reaction" was a physical or psychological manifestation, was I short of breath and sporting a low grade temperature because of the shot or merely because I took my girls to the H1N1 clinic after a grueling ten hour day at work before we had an opportunity to have dinner ?
Would this inoculation protect me,my girls and my immune suppressed beloved against the newest version of the Grim Reaper ?
Did I make the right decision or was there any truth to the counter-spin that the serum contained mercury or was an untested serum which may cause deadly side effects now or in the future? The debate raged in the office and amongst my Facebook friends.
I don't ever remember my parents debating the pro/cons of immunization, it was part of the agenda. Immunization was a fact of life and it kept the bad diseases such as tuberculosis from destroying another generation. My Fathers' Mother died at the age of 31, in a tent, on the farm in 1922 from TB. She left 5 children all under the age of 7 because THERE WAS NO CURE OR PREVENTATIVE MEASURE. Death from communicable diseases was real and devastating,it affected my parents generation in every way possible.
We have destroyed pandemics and saved millions because of the advances of modern science. Why are we intent on going backwards ?
In my house, we take every and extra precaution to keep healthy,my beloved lives with Multiple Sclerosis and has a compromised immune system. When he gets sick, he can die or take twice the time to recover compared to one of us.
Keeping my family healthy is my first priority and I don't suffer fools lightly... I despise people who decline the flu shot,are sloppy with personal health hygiene,and knowingly go into work or send their kids to school when they're sick are high on my hit list.
We need to become vigilant about our families health, against H1N1 and other viral boogeymen.
Get the H1N1 immunization and get your regular flu shot.
Frequently wash your hands and teach every family member the same hygiene.
When sick, stay home.
Become a warrior against H1N1,devise a sick house plan with your family and stick to it.
What's a sick house plan ?
It's a plan devised to confine the sick person away from other family members and the public and designed to stop the virus from spreading to other people.
The first step to creating a healthy house is insisting that every family member wash their hands with soap and hot water when returning home.
If sick, the sick person will wear a medical mask when not confined to their room.
The sick person will be excused from daily chores and confined to their room in order to keep the virus away from the rest of the family.Meals and liquids are delivered to the sick person's room and the sickee should be confined to one washroom.
The sick person's bedding is washed on a daily basis and toys are disinfected.The person handling the sickee's personal items will wear latex gloves and a mask when dealing with the sick person.
It sounds extreme but it works.Keep in mind, it's not unlike previous sick hygiene protocol from the fifties or sixties. When your sick, you stay in your room and don't get to sit on the couch in the living room,watch T.V. and get other people sick.
Most of all , don't go to work when you're sick or send your little typhoid Mary to school to get other people sick.
We implemented this protocol last year and it works.
Become a warrior Mom and become vigilant against the outside forces which threaten your family.