H1N1 is a Type A flu virus that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. H1N1 flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with H1N1 flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs.
When flu viruses cross species, the viruses can swap genes and new strains of virus can emerge. http://www.museumofplay.org/about_us/press/nthof/presstoys/erector.jpg http://www.cartype.com/pics/347/small/truck_lego.jpg
Pandemic Influenza - a regional or worldwide outbreak of flu among people when a new strain of virus emerges that has the ability to infect humans and spread from person-to-person e.g. H1N1 flu. During the early stages, people may not have any natural immunity to the new strain, so the virus can spread rapidly among the population. Pandemics can vary in severity from something that seems like a bad flu season to an especially severe pandemic that could led to high levels of illness, death, social disruption and economic loss. http://media.ksee24.com/images/H1N1-2.jpg
It is impossible to predict when the next pandemic will occur or whether it will be mild or severe. Experts suggest that employers should plan for 30% to 50% absenteeism for up to six weeks in the event of pandemic flu. A pandemic is likely to be an extended event, with multiple waves of outbreaks in the same geographic area. Each outbreak could last for 6 – 8 weeks. Waves of outbreaks may occur over a year or more.
Seasonal Influenza – periodic outbreaks of respiratory illness during various months depending on location – caused by the strain of flu virus circulating at the time. Most people have some immunity to the circulating strain of virus. A vaccine is prepared in advance of seasonal ‘flu’ and designed to match the viruses most likely to be circulating in the community. The illness caused can be mild or severe and occasionally can lead to death. http://www.partialobserver.com/wallpaper/images/worldmap/worldmap1600.jpg
Spreads rapidly across the globe because people do not have a previous immunity to it.
Although the first cases of the disease were registered in the continental U.S, and the rest of Europe long before getting to Spain, the 1918 Flu received its nickname &quot;Spanish flu&quot; because Spain, a neutral country in WWI , had no special censorship for news against the disease and its consequences. Hence the most reliable news on the disease came from Spain, giving the false impression that Spain was the most—if not the only—affected zone. Among the conclusions of this research is that the virus kills via a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system ) which explains its unusually severe nature and the concentrated age profile of its victims. The strong immune systems of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults caused fewer deaths.
Some groups of people are more susceptible to flu complications than others, especially older people and people of any age with certain medical conditions.
Like seasonal flu, pandemic flu can worsen underlying medical conditions. Employees who have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, emphysema, or who are pregnant should contact their health care provider to determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. http://blogs.phillyburbs.com/news/bcct/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2008/May/Wednesday/smoking.jpg http://www.deviantart.com/download/75993546/32_weeks_pregnant_by_MorbidRealityDesigns.jpg http://www.ra4food.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/brokenheart.jpg http://desmarwalkes.com/images/rev_jpg/Diabetic.jpg http://l.yimg.com/img.tv.yahoo.com/tv/us/img/site/07/55/0000000755_20060919024352.jpg http://michigan.gov/images/mdch/MDCH_CDE_Asthma_226551_7.jpg
It is likely that the signs and symptoms of pandemic flu will be similar to those of seasonal flu but they may be more severe and cause more serious complications because of reduced immunity. The most significant symptoms are the sudden onset of: F ever Cough and shortness of breath Other symptoms may include: Headache, Fatigue, Chills, Aching muscles, Sore throat, Runny or stuffy nose Sneezing, Loss of Appetite, Diarrhea, Vomiting http://kidskatyfamilypop.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/p4300009.jpg
The incubation period between infection and appearance of symptoms can be up to 7 days, most likely 1-5 days. http://www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/health/environmentalhealth/PHEPR/sneeze.jpg
An update on what is known about H1N1 flu can be found at www.pandemicflu.gov .
H1N1 virus is thought to spread in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread from person-to-person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. They may also spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person (i.e., handshake) or a contaminated object and then touches their own mouth, nose, or eyes before washing their hands. Studies indicate that flu viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours (i.e., keyboards, handrails, door knobs, light switches, telephone, radios, etc.).
Generally we all do this, but at home, not uncommon to have one glass in the bathroom for rinsing after brushing. http://www.eventsupplies.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/istock_000007632149medium.jpg
Avoid close contact with sick people. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/186/363550717_522ce857cc_o.jpg
Limit close contact with co-workers – try to maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet (1 meter) between yourself and fellow employees or other individuals. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and / or nose unless you have recently washed your hands. Wash your hands as soon as you arrive at work and when you arrive home.
Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissue promptly and then wash your hands. Used tissues should be disposed in trash cans – they do not require any special treatment.
Do not use a cloth handkerchief or reuse tissues. This practice carries a risk of contaminating pockets or handbags which may then re-contaminate hands each time you reach into pockets or handbags. Stork Club owner Sherman Billingsley - one of his signals to nearby assistant which means “Bring a bottle of champagne,” while sitting w. patrons over his usual Coca Cola, in the Cub Room. (circa 1950s) http://acontinuouslean.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/c31.jpg
Cough or sneeze in to your upper sleeve if a tissue is not available.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used as an alternative to hand washing or if hand washing facilities are not available. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jkannenberg/3518419344/sizes/o/
You must rub your hands until they are dry. The alcohol in the rub is what kills the bugs.
To minimize the risk of an influenza (flu) pandemic to employees, contractors and visitors. Continue functions essential to company’s operations during a pandemic. Manage the impact on our Operations and our ability to supply customers during a drastic reduction in employee population due to sickness. http://www.adonishoffman.com/images/hand_puzzle_pieces_blowing_wind.jpg
Closely monitor your health for flu symptoms. Notify your supervisor if you become ill at work. The affected employee and the person assisting them will follow all protocols as established by management. Employees are to notify their supervisor if they will not be able to report to work. At the time they call to report an absence, they should communicate if the absence is pandemic flu-related.
See a doctor if: Hard to breath, Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen, Sudden dizziness, Confusion, Severe or persistent vomiting http://www.macombcountymi.gov/publichealth/PanFlu/images/Medicine%20Feathered.jpg
Sick employees should stay home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. http://www.cmn-global.com/advocate/q4/images/contents/fever.jpg
Employees who do not have symptoms, but who have family members at home with the flu can go to work as usual. These employees should closely monitor their health for flu symptoms, notify their supervisor, and stay home if they are ill.
Warning Signs: Fast or Trouble Breathing, Bluish skin color, Not enough drinking of liquids, Not waking up, Rash, Flu gets better and worse with a cough http://www.wesleymc.com/cpm/nurse%20with%20little%20girl%20in%20pink%20cropped%20small.jpg