Flu English

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Flu English

  1. 1. Influenza A/H1N1 Essential information Tips based on evidence from Cochrane reviews and BMJ’s Clinical Evidence May 1 2009 Prepared by Tom Jefferson Graphics by Luca De Fiore (jefferson.tom@gmail.com)
  2. 2. Edgar Hernàndez is second from the right. He is the first symptomatic case of infection with novel A/H1N1. Edgar lives in La Gloria, Mexico.
  3. 3. You can follow viral spread on Google Maps . Communication technologies play an important part in surveillance.
  4. 4. Another novelty is Twitter: 2% of messages during the last weekend in April 2009 were on the influenza outbreak with continuous updates for your PC or mobile phone.
  5. 5. The influenza outbreak is caused by a A/H1N1 type. The origin is unknown but swine flu is a misnomer. Transmission is between humans.
  6. 6. Symptoms are typical of influenza: fever, repiratory symptoms, aches and pains. There are no bedside tests to differentiate A/H1N1 from other influenza A viruses.
  7. 7. The most effective preventive interventions are non-pharmacological.
  8. 8. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
  9. 9. Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  10. 10. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  11. 11. If you are sick, stay at home.
  12. 12. Avoid travelling to places with high prevalance.
  13. 13. Healthcare workers facing possible cases should wear masks, gloves, gowns, goggles and wash hands more than 10 times a day. These measures work against ALL respiratory viruses.
  14. 14. Antiviral drugs will prevent or alleviate symptoms. They should be prescribed by a physician who will take into account the level of threat. They must be taken within 48 hours from symptoms developing. This is not easy in everyday practice. Antivirals should not be taken for prolonged periods.
  15. 15. Points still to be clarified • What is so unusual about the epidemic? • Why did the epidemic start in Mexico? • Is this influenza more virulent than usual? • Are there co-circulating micro-organisms? • Which age groups are most affected? • Free access to Cochrane reviews: http://cochrane.org/news/articles/influenza_2009.html

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