Tuesday, May 5, 2009

H1 N1 What is it all about? Exeter Care Center DON Shares at Exeter Senior Center

The Exeter Care Center Director of Nursing, Laura Lea and Social Services Director Margaret Petro shared lots of information with the lunchgoers at the Exeter Senior Center on Tuesday.

The two passed out several informational packets on the H1N1, Swine Flu, that has spread throughout the United States.

Currently the World Health Organization has set the pandemic level at orange, level 5 which is one level just below massive pandemic.

Lea spoke to the group bout how this flu is "different from the seasonal flu. . .it has a different genetic make-up than the swine flu of many years ago."

She emphasized that it has really nothing to do with pigs or pork and they have found that it spreads rapidly from human to human.

Right now it seems that the cases are taking a turn toward slowing down but Lea warned that "this type will slow down and then turn up again. I encourage you if you are feeling achy, tired and have respiratory chest symptoms and a fever to call your doctor first before showing up at the office or emergency room to be tested."

There are two medications on the market right now that can help if you can take with in 2 - 3 days of feeling the symptoms. A warning to all that there are several reported scams online offering this medication.

Several cases have been confirmed in Nebraska but right now only one case actually originated in Nebraska. The Sarpy county female is not currently hospitalized.

Lea reported that the average age of those becoming sick is 17 with the majority 20 or younger.

As with all viruses Lea urged people to wash hands often as "flu viruses and other germs can live two hours or longer on hard environmental surfaces like tables, doorknobs, and desks."

The Care Center also provided bottles of hand sanitizer for those in attendance, encouraging them to wash and sanitize often. Lea encouraged those who felt sick to stay at home to avoid spreading the flu. If disinfectants are not available a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach to 1 quart of water to disinfect surfaces. Remember to wear gloves to protect your hands.

Currently no vaccine is ready for the H1N1 virus - it will likely take 4 - 6 months to develop, test and begin production.

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