The information below is directly taken from http://www.ingletravel.com/en/info/influenza.asp as a way of getting information out to you regarding this potential pandemic. When travelling, it is important to always consider your travel insurance policy – do you have one with your credit card or your auto club? What does it cover? It is really cheap? You had better review it – your health is not something to mess with. We can help you with your TRAVEL INSURANCE needs – click HERE.
What Is Swine Flu?
The swine flu is being categorized as a respiratory illness, causing symptoms similar to those of the regular human seasonal flu. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing, coughing, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.
The virus is contagious and can be transmitted from person to person. Infected individuals who cough or sneeze cause germs to be deposited in the air and on common surfaces, where they can pose risk to others.
As with any influenza virus, it may pose the most risk to the elderly, young children and infants, and pregnant women, so it is important to take due precautions to avoid contracting the virus. Immunocompromised individuals are also at risk, such as those with diabetes, AIDS, advanced stages of cancer, or other chronic illnesses.
What Can You Do?
To help protect yourself and others against this flu, The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising that Canadians continue to take normal precautions to protect themselves as they would from a regular flu:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer
- Cough and sneeze on your upper arm/sleeve or into a facial tissue directly. Dispose of tissue directly after and sanitize or wash hands immediately.
- Stay home if you are sick or exhibit any flu-like symptoms
- Report any serious flu-like symptoms to your doctor
- Get your annual flu shot
Some other precautions you may want to take:
- Wash/sanitize your hands before and after eating, sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing, going to the bathroom, using public transit, or touching common surfaces (doorknobs, handles, etc.)
- If you are not feeling well, stay home and avoid crowded areas
- Avoid touching your face and mouth
- Try to avoid shaking hands
- Practice good infection control in the workplace, at home and in social settings
Canadian Response to Swine Flu
As of now, health officials are encouraging all Canadians to continue to practice good personal infection control, but are not implementing any emergency or special precautions. However, in the event that the virus becomes more critical, the Public Health Agency of Canada is prepared to do the following:
- Issue travel advisories/restrict travel
- Station quarantine officers at airports and borders to identify infected individuals
- Use stockpiled national antiviral medications
- Develop and administer a vaccine for every Canadian
- Equip healthcare workers with protective gowns, masks and eye-wear
Canadian health officials are working with other governments to control the spread of the virus. Health care workers have been instructed to recognize flu symptoms and to take appropriate action. While international health officials monitor population health, please keep yourself and others flu free by practicing good personal infection control.
More Information on Swine Flu
Public Health Agency of Canada
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization