Stay Healthy This Flu Season

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Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Prevention remains the most effective way to stay healthy. The H1N1 flu (swine) is still occurring throughout the US and it is likely we will continue to see more cases during the upcoming flu season in the fall and winter. It is important to take actions to prevent illness and t to make plans in the event that you or your loved ones become ill. It is not known how severe this disease may become. As I write to you, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently projects 40 percent of Americans in the coming months will either become ill with H1N1 or be a caregiver for someone with it. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of those already infected. Get to know the dangers and counter the virus spread. CDC officials are outlining the following preventive steps to take over the next several months of the flu season: 1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. 2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. 3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. 4. Stay home if you get sick. The CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with other to keep from infecting them. 5. Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and taking other social distancing measures. 6. Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety. 7. Call 1(800) CDC-INFO for more information. All flu viruses have the potential to kill if untreated or ignored. These viruses seem to strike children younger than 5 years old or adults 65 years of age or older. Additionally, persons with the following conditions appear particularly susceptible. Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematologic al (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorder (including diabetes mellitus); immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV, pregnancy; persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; or residents of nursing homes and other chronic-car facilities. Parents, as you teach your children good hygiene habits, emphasize the danger of the N1N1 flue and ensure they take their own prevention actions at school, and sports and social events. Now is the time for the public to be more vigilant and responsible. Common sense, a vaccine, education and staying attuned to breaking news about the virus will help everyone understand the dangers and stay healthy. More information about the H1N1 flu can be found online at the CDC website:


In Canada we prefer to get public health information from Canadian sites that will give us specific info on vaccine availability, for instance.


Sineed wrote:

In Canada we prefer to get public health information from Canadian sites that will give us specific info on vaccine availability, for instance.

... until someone comes along with contrary information:

[url=]No evidence that washing hands helps[/url]

Yup, you heard it here first - and that conclusion came from a 2007 report by the Council of Canadian Academies, commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

So, in other words, ummm, we should, ahhh, errr...

ETA: [url=From">][colo... today's CMAJ article[/url] - apparently the report and PHAC are in disagreement on the use of masks as well!


There’s no evidence that good hand hygiene practices prevent influenza transmission, according to a Council of Canadian Academies report commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

But N95 particulate respirator-type masks are a proven “final layer of protection” against even the smallest viral particles of influenza, says the Influenza Transmission and the Role of Personal Protective Respiratory Equipment: An Assessment of the Evidence report prepared by an expert panel on influenza and personal protective respiratory equipment, chaired by Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario (

Despite those 2007 findings, PHAC still recommends handwashing as the primary preventive measure against flu transmission. The agency also states on its website that there is no evidence that wearing masks “will prevent the spread of infection in the general population. Improper use of masks may in fact increase the risk of infection.”

Moreover, PHAC states in an email to CMAJ that “there is substantial evidence to support hand hygiene as a basic premise of infection prevention and control measures.”