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Viruses are unwelcomed visitors in many households right now. I am frequently asked how to tell whether a family member is suffering from the flu or just a common cold. Some of the symptoms are similar, but others generally indicate one or the other of these illnesses. To help you evaluate your symptoms, I’ve created this comparison chart.
The Water Quality and Health Council Calls for Greater Surface Disinfection to Combat Bad Hygiene During this Flu Season
Do you cough without covering your mouth while standing in the lunch line? Or sneeze loudly into the air when squeezed onto the morning bus? Nearly all Americans (96 percent) have seen you do things like this – and a shocking three quarters (77 percent) say they are guilty themselves. Even with heightened concerns during [...]
What will you need to stay healthy and secure during a pandemic flu outbreak? Individuals and families should prepare for potential pandemic flu-related isolation from their communities for an extended period of time. Dr. Ralph’s Flu Preparedness Closet is a helpful checklist of what you need to have on hand.
Controlling viral populations on household surfaces is an effective way to cut down on the spread of seasonal and H1N1 flu. Although flu viruses require live host cells to multiply and spread, they can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or even days. Good hygiene requires more than just cleaning. Proper disinfection provides an additional safeguard for areas where people come into contact with contaminated surfaces.
As swine flu progresses across the globe, raising the specter of a pandemic, the critical need for surface disinfection is highlighted by public health officials as a practical way to stem the rate of infection. As important as canned foods and emergency water, a bottle of chlorine bleach should be an essential part of your family’s emergency preparedness kit.
A recent USA Today article on H1N1, or swine flu, highlights once again that the best way to prevent such diseases is through the practice of good, basic hygiene. That is especially true in the case of schools where large numbers of children are in close contact. When exposed, those children become a reservoir for spreading the infection at home and in other settings.
As parents send young children back to school and pack their older ones off to college, the government’s warning of up to 90 thousand U.S. deaths this season from H1N1 flu has given many of us pause. Germs and people go together; turning classrooms, dorm rooms, and cafeterias into giant-sized Petri dishes for the virus’s spread. H1N1 flu viruses– like noroviruses which cause vomiting and diarrhea – are able to maintain the infection cycle by spreading through the interaction of people who cough and sneeze, transmitting the virus by droplets in the air or their contaminated hands.
Along with covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, a new study spells out the need to disinfect surfaces as part of a flu-prevention strategy. Researchers found your greatest risk of exposure (52%) comes from being in close contact with an infected person who coughs followed by (31%) of placing your hands on a contaminated surface. The study points to the need to cover coughs, disinfect touching surfaces, and protect against airborne cough particles.
Read more about the study here.