Staying ahead of H1N1

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

While we can understand any parent’s worry over the H1N1 flu cases, we have to urge citizens to follow common sense when dealing with the flu or possible flu symptoms.

State health officials have been repeating the same mantras for months, and now school officials are joining in.

If you or someone in your family shows flu symptoms or is around anyone with such symptoms, be sure to follow basic hygiene practices, such as:

-Washing your hands frequently.

-Sneezing or coughing into a sleeve or a tissue, not your hands.

-Don’t drink or eat after another person.

-Get regular flu vaccinations, beginning this fall.

-Perhaps most importantly, if you or your child gets sick, stay at home no less than 24 hours after your symptoms go away. This is essential. The virus will continue to spread as long as contagious people are in public.

While the state plans a large-scale vaccination for the H1N1 virus, it’s important to keep in mind that those inoculations are intended for certain groups of people, including pregnant women, children six months to 4 years of age and individuals 25-64 years old who have at-risk health conditions.

If you are not included in any of the aforementioned groups and you contract the virus, it should be no more serious than the typical flu. Precautions should be taken, but the best medicine is plenty of rest.