Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Bahagian Kawalan Penyakit, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia telah mengaktifkan Bilik Gerakan CPRC Kebangsaan bagi memantau situasi wabak Selesema A(H1N1). Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi 03-8881 0200 atau 03-8881 0300 atau email kepada email@example.com
What should I do to keep from getting infected by the influenza A (H1N1) virus?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus and
avoid close contact with people who are sick.
What is a 'pandemic'?
Influenza pandemics happen when a new human flu virus emerges and spreads rapidly across the globe because humans have no previous immunity against this virus.
Are we at risk of a pandemic?
No one can say whether or not the current situation would evolve into a severe pandemic. But whether it turns out to be a catastrophic health event or little more than a bad flu season, it is important to be prepared for the worst.
What can you do?
Prepare yourself and your family immediately for a possible pandemic. This includes gathering and storing emergency supplies and adopting habits that will reduce the chance of you or your family getting infected and spreading it to others (for example, washing hands regularly, covering nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and not spitting in public).
What you need to know about preventing and diagnosing influenza
What is the difference between seasonal and pandemic influenza?
Seasonal influenza VS Pandemic influenza:
Human viral respiratory Infection.
Global outbreak of new strain of human influenza virus
Self-limiting, but can be
serious and fatal in the
elderly and the very youngCauses
Causes increased illness and death
Causes an estimated
Rare event; has occurred every
11-42 years over the past two centuries;
could cause millions of deaths
Occurs seasonally every
year; occurs in winter in
Three pandemics in the past 100 years:
1968, 1957 and 1918
Vaccines can only be developed once we
know the strain of the virus.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
Everyone is at risk of getting seasonal influenza. It passes easily from person to person through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. These droplets can pass directly into the nose, mouth or eyes of a person who is nearby (less than 1 meter, or 3 feet, away) or indirectly when a person touches surfaces that droplets have fallen onto and then touches his or her nose, mouth or eyes before washing hands. Crowded, indoor environments may promote the chances of such transmission, which may explain the increase in respiratory infections during the winter months.
Seasonal influenza can lead to complications and even death. Most complications
occur in people aged 65 years and over or in people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes. Pregnant women, infants and very young children are also at increased risk of complications from influenza.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year 3 million to 5 million people have severe cases of seasonal influenza worldwide, and 250,000 to 500,000 people die.
When a pandemic occurs, everyone will be at risk, not just frail or elderly people. Pandemic influenza passes from person to person just as easily and quickly as seasonal flu. But, unlike with seasonal flu, people will not be immune to this new virus, so more people will become infected. In addition, it is possible that even young and healthy people who do not normally suffer complications from seasonal flu may develop serious complications and even die in a pandemic.
It is important to know, however, that the majority of people who will develop a flu-like illness in a pandemic will recover and develop immunity to the new human virus.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT HUMAN INFLUENZA VIRUSES?
Things you should know about human influenza viruses:
• They spread through infected droplets from breathing passages.
• Droplets are expelled by talking, spitting, coughing, sneezing.
• The droplets spread about 1 meter (3 feet) from the infected person, either directly to other people or indirectly through hands and other surfaces.
• The viruses can live for several hours on hard surfaces, or on cloth and paper.
• If healthy people touch infected hands, doorknobs, keyboards, telephones, etc., they can infect themselves by touching mouths, noses or eyes.
• Sometimes the viruses can spread through the air.
• An infected person is most likely to spread the virus when he or she has fever and a cough.
• It is possible that an infected person will spread the virus a day before showing signs of illness.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE INFLUENZA?
• Aching muscles
• Exhaustion and feeling weak
• Loss of appetite
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Dry cough
While the first symptoms of pandemic influenza might be similar to seasonal flu symptoms, how the symptoms develop will depend on the nature of the specific virus. It is likely that most people will recover without needing medical attention, but the following symptoms may help you decide if you need to seek medical help:
• Shortness of breath while resting or doing very little work
• Persistent fever for 4 or 5 days
• Painful or difficult breathing
• Coughing up a lot of phlegm or bloody sputum
• You are feeling better and then you develop a new fever or worsening cough with sputum
• You feel very drowsy and others have difficulty waking you up or note you seem confused or disorientated
Bear in mind that in a pandemic, medical services will be overwhelmed and some might even be closed. So it is important for you and your family to prepare for at-home care if the worst should happen.
HOW DO YOU REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CONTRACTING INFLUENZA?
The practice of good personal hygiene is one of the most effective strategies any individual can implement to reduce their risk of being infected by the influenza virus. Important points are:
• Cover the nose and mouth with the sleeve when coughing or sneezing (not with the hand, as that contaminates the hand for touching and spreading organisms further);
• Use a tissue for cleaning/blowing the nose, and dispose of it after use;
• Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, using a tissue, or touching any surface
that may have become contaminated by a prior user. If using a surgical mask, dispose of it carefully after use and wash hands:
° Wash hands with soap and water (preferable) or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner;
° When you wash your hands, wash for at least 20 seconds, making sure that all surfaces of hands and fingers are cleaned.
• Become "touch aware", and avoid touching surfaces that are likely to have been touched by others (door handles, stair railings, etc);
• Avoid handshaking, social kissing, and other social
rituals that involve touching others.
• Be careful with respiratory secretions when around other people (e.g. coughing and sneezing). If possible, avoid contact with individuals at risk (small children or those with underlying or chronic illnesses) until respiratory symptoms have resolved.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE EVENT OF A PANDEMIC
How will the UN help you?
The UN has a website currently residing on iSeek (www.un.org/staff/pandemic) that will keep all staff informed worldwide about the spread of the disease and its effect on staff members. The website operates in stand-alone mode on the internet and provides information about the current situation for UN personnel in each major duty station of the Secretariat along with appropriate links to the agencies, funds and programmes.
In order to provide you with the most up-to-date information, the UN works closely with WHO, the Organization responsible for monitoring health and outbreaks of disease worldwide. The UN also works closely with country health authorities, liaising with
them regularly on plans for the locales in which the UN has staff.
In 2008, the UN published revised Medical Guidelines for a pandemic. All UN medical services are familiar with these guidelines. The UN has also approved Administrative Guidelines for the management of staff during a pandemic.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO PREPARE?
You should be prepared for the possibility that in a pandemic many supplies will be limited and mobility will be greatly reduced. Be sure to take the necessary steps to have your affairs in order and plenty of critical supplies on hand.
• Ensure ample supplies of ongoing and routine medications for self and family.
• Ensure medical insurance coverage.
• Purchase thermometers for each member of the family.
• Stockpile hygiene products, water, and food for six weeks (see pages 22-26 for a detailed list of supplies).
• Ensure passport, visa or permits are valid for staying put and for travel
• Update the emergency contact information that your organization has on file for you and your family
WHAT IS "SOCIAL DISTANCING"?
Physical distancing is a term that refers to the practice of keeping a distance of one meter (three feet) between people. Social distancing refers to measures taken by health authorities to reduce transmission of a virus in the community.
Local governments may request that you remain in your community or home in the event of a pandemic. Reducing the contact people have with each other will reduce opportunities for transmission. Keep in mind that some of these measures could include:
• Closing of schools and universities
• Closing of day-care facilities
• Cancellation of mass gatherings and public transportation
HOW DO YOU REDUCE THE CHANCES OF SPREADING INFLUENZA?
• Practice good personal hygiene as listed on pages 9 and 10.
• Don't share eating utensils and drinking glasses.
• Clean utensils used by sick people or surfaces they touch with warm, soapy water or disinfectant.
• Avoid crowded situations that place you in close contact with others.
• Don't smoke. Smoking makes it easier to catch influenza and increases the likelihood of serious complications.
• Stay home if sick with a fever or cough.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS?
Caring for yourself
The following are a few of the things you or those you are caring for can do to help reduce influenza symptoms. Of course, if the influenza appears to be more severe, you should consult with a medical professional immediately.
• Measure your temperature. If it is not above 38°C (100.4°F), you probably don't have influenza.
• Rest and completely avoid rigorous exercise.
• Avoid contact with others.
• Stay at home.
• Drink plenty of fluids (a glass of water or juice every hour).
• Take paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) to reduce fever and relieve pain. (It does not kill the virus, but it makes you feel better.)
• Gargle with warm water to ease a sore throat.
• Use saline (salt) solution nose drops to help relieve a stuffed nose.
• Keep your nose clean with disposable tissues and throw the used tissues in the garbage. Wash your hands afterwards.
• Don't smoke.
Caring for others
Most patients with pandemic influenza will be able to remain at home during the course of their illness and can be cared for by other family members or others who live in the household. Anyone residing in a household with an influenza patient during the incubation period and illness is at risk for developing influenza. A key objective in this setting is to limit transmission of pandemic influenza within and outside the home. Even though there is a risk of transmitting the virus, people are going to have to take care of each other if they get sick.
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