How to protect yourself from the H1N1 flu.

A big question coming up frequently in the office is – What can I do to protect myself against the H1N1 flu/should I get the vaccine? While getting a vaccine is a personal decision, have a look at the information below to get more information.

This fall and winter there will be two types of flu viruses circulating – the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu virus. High risk groups for the seasonal flu include children 6-23 months, adults 65 and older as well as anyone with pre-existing health conditions. High risk groups for the H1N1 are being identified and appear to include pregnant women and people with pre-existing health conditions.

The viruses spread when someone with the flu coughs or sneezes and droplets come into contact with another person’s nose, mouth or eyes. When people with the flu cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch something – other people can become infected if they touch the same object and then touch their face. A person can be infectious until their symptoms are gone.

What can you do to stay healthy?
1. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds (as long as it takes to sing your ABCs!). Clean your hands after sneezing or coughing and after touching surfaces that others have touched.

2. Keep an alcohol based hand sanitizer at work, home and in the car.

3. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or a tissue – not your hand.

4. Keep commonly touched surfaces clean and disinfected.

5. If you are a chiropractic patient – get in for your regular adjustment and do not hesitate to call in for an extra visit if you are feeling unwell. There is an intimate connection between the nervous system and the immune system – by keeping the nervous system functioning well , the immune system functions more optimally.

6. Take Vitamin C, antioxidants( provides defenses against free radical damage, promotes wellness and protects against illness) and organic colostrum (helps reset the immune system and boost immune response). We have all of these available at the office – just call (705-719-2255) or email (info@thompsonchiropractic.ca) if you would like some set aside for you.

7. Get more sleep – that is when our body heals and repairs.

8. Drink more water- A LOT more water!!

9. Eat healthy whole foods. Avoid sugar – this weakens your immune system (watch out for the Halloween candy!)

Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

Symptoms:

Fever

Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.

Coughing

A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Aches

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chills

Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.

Tiredness

Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.

Sneezing

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days..

The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.

Hope this helps everyone.

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