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Swine Flu (H1N1 Flu) - Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones

The Risk: Recent news stories have contained many references to a very serious outbreak of H1N1 Flu in many states and in other countries. As of this writing there are nearly 100 confirmed cases across the US. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that some cases of H1N1 Flu will be potentially life-threatening. “I fully expect that we will see deaths from this infection,” said Richard Besser, MD, acting director of the CDC. "Even ordinary seasonal flu causes about 36,000 deaths each year in the United States" said Dr. Besser.In this special edition of the PuroClean® 411, we provide useful information regarding H1N1 Flu, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from infectation.

How is H1N1 Flu Spread? The CDC states that H1N1 Flu is commonly spread through the coughing or sneezing of infected people projecting virus-infused droplets. Transmission occurs when someone comes in contact with something with the virus on it and then touches their own nose or mouth. H1N1 Flu cannot be spread by eating pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food.

What are the Symptoms? The CDC reports that the symptoms of H1N1 Flu transmitted from human to human are much like that of seasonal flu. Common symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, while runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

H1N1 Flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days.Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.

How can H1N1 Flu Be Prevented? Wash your hands frequently – and keep your hands away from your face – a surprisingly effective way to prevent all sorts of diseases, including ordinary influenza and the H1N1 Flu virus. Use antimicrobial hand gels to reduce the spread of viruses, as well as covering your nose and mouth when you cough (with an arm or elbow, not your hand).Avoid other people who might be infected, and avoid unnecessary public places.Stay home when you are sick.

Are Face Masks Effective? Face masks are generally loose fitting and protect the wearer's mouth and nose from splashes or “sprays.” They also help people avoid touching their nose or mouth. They are not created to protect the wearer from breathing in very small particles. Respirators are snug or tight-fitting and help block breathing in small particles.

If used correctly, masks and - more likely - respirators may indeed reduce the risk of getting influenza, according to information released from the CDC. But for people who live in areas with confirmed cases, there is no single action that will provide complete protection. It simply isn't practical to wear a mask all the time, and they are not 100% foolproof. Face masks and respirators are most useful for people who are in crowded settings, such as classrooms or airplanes, where they will protect the mouth and nose from germs and reduce the likelihood of coughing or sneezing on other people. Wearing a mask might make you feel a little foolish at first, but others will catch on.

Call the Professionals: If H1N1 Flu is confirmed at a location, or if you want to reduce the likelihood of occurrence, it is important to call a professional Emergency Service Company like PuroClean®. Through PuroClean Rapid Defense®, trained professionals from PuroClean will assess the situation and will outline the best approach for each location. They will then clean and sanitize all surfaces and materials using EPA-registered disinfectants with residual benefits for up to three months! If H1N1 Flu has been identified or if you want to be sure the facility is as safe as it can be, then call PuroClean. They will be glad to provide a free evaluation.