People must avoid as much as possible contact with people infected with H1N1 virus starting from the home to any other place where people mingle or gather. It is a myth to believe that H1N1 virus can infect people by eating pork or other pork products (CDC 2009). Tap water or drinking water that is treated does not carry the virus. Disinfected swimming pools, according to standards as recommended by CDC with “1-3 parts per million [ppm or mg/L] for pools and 2-5 ppm for spas, will not cause infection of the virus.
It must be noted, however, that recreational water venues are also people group settings which must be watched carefully and one must use his best decision whether or not to swim or play in them. Masks and respirators are gadgets panicky bought and used by many people as seen on television at the outbreak of H1N1. Relative to this, people must understand that they do not do much as keeping the hands clean and staying at least six feet away from suspected infected persons with the virus.
The facial mask may be used by a patient to prevent transmission of the virus but that is when it is tolerable and available. The same thing holds true for the respirator. A respirator can filter out virus particles. However, both become inconvenient to the users since facial masks and respirators do not seal tightly to the face; they can even make breathing difficult in the long use. An individual who observes himself or herself having the symptoms of flu is advised to stay at home and to cover his or her mouth whenever he or she sneezes or coughs with a clean tissue and properly dispose the used tissue.
To the issue of tissue, when it is not available, the American Academy of Pediatrics (2009) adds, “… cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. ” Touching the nose, mouth, and eyes with the hands, when they have earlier touched surfaces with the virus, will more likely cause infection and acquisition of the illness. More importantly, he or she must wash his or hands with soap and water (WebMD 2009). It must be emphasized along this line that H1N1 becomes contagious quickly like the common flu.
Germs may be picked up by individuals from respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person because flu bugs survive for several hours on surfaces (WebMD 2009). The doctor’s medical assistance can be resorted to when the flu gets worse and home management of the illness does not prosper. The age-old saying that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is the best guideline for people who want to stay safe and away from the H1N1virus or any virus for that matter. The good old habits of hygiene and cleanliness bring preventive measures for any form of disease, H1N1 virus included.
MedlinePlus (2009), CDC (2009), and WHO (2009) offer common practices: washing of the hands regularly with soap and water, especially during coughing or sneezing, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available; avoiding close contact – that is being within six feet – with people who have flu-like symptoms; avoiding touching the mouth, nose, or eyes, or else keep the hands always clean; staying at home when there is felt or observed flu-like symptoms for seven days after symptoms begin or until the person becomes symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.
School children and office workers when infected with the virus must stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus at school and office, respectively.