My friend passed this information on to me and I found it very useful. Thought you all might find it helpful as well, especially with the avalanche of bugs that are floating around here lately.
Do you know the difference between a cold and H1N1 flu symptoms?
Fever: Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
Coughing: A hacking, productive (mucus-producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Aches: Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
Stuffy Nose: Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
Chills: Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
Tiredness: Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
Sneezing: Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
Sudden Symptoms: Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
Headache: A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu and present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat: Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
Chest Discomfort: Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat.
In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.
Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is. While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe).
3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids (herbal tea, honey and lemon water, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
I'm not sure of the original source for the information above, but it shows up on several county health department websites as well as several flu websites. It's a viral (pun intended) e-mail too. Below are some more links to educate you further. Ellen
CDC: Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home
CDC: H1N1 and You, What To Do If You Get Sick
CDC: Get Flu Travels diagram PDF
Hi Sisters, As discussed in RS this week, here is a link to access flu shot information from Montgomery County's website. You will see info about H1N1 (there is a local flu clinic on Friday) and the seasonal flu clinics. Please call or email me if you have any questions.