What is Influenza (the “flu”)? • The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. • Some people, such as the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complication.
Flu Terms to Know • Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that circulates every year and can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available. • Pandemic flu is a respiratory illness that makes people all across the globe sick. • H1N1 flu is a new influenza A virus that has never before caused illness in humans. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person.
Novel H1N1 Influenza • In April 2009, people in the U.S. who caught the first cases of human infection from H1N1 flu virus lived in California and Texas. It spread to many places in the U.S. • On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway, because it had spread worldwide.
Seasonal Influenza • Every year in the United States, on average: • 5% to 20%of the population gets seasonal flu • more than 200,000people are hospitalized from flu-related complications • about 36,000people die from seasonal flu-related causes • So, prevention of both seasonal AND H1N1 flu is important! Stopping the flu starts with you!
Symptoms of Influenza Seasonal Flu H1N1 Flu All of the same symptoms as seasonal flu… But diarrhea and vomiting occurs more often - in about 25% of the cases. • Fever • Cough • Sore throat • Runny or stuffy nose • Body aches • Headache • Chills • Fatigue • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
How is influenza spread? Both seasonal and novel H1N1 influenza spread mainly through respiratory droplets • Coughing • Sneezing • Touching respiratory droplets on yourself, another person, or an object, then touching mucus membranes (e.g., mouth, nose, eyes) without washing hands
Preventing the Spread of the Flu • 3 C’s • Cover Cough • Clean Hands • Contain Illness • Stay home when sickpeople with influenza-like illness should remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F) or signs of a fever without the use fever-reducing medications. • Get Vaccinated!
C#1: Cover your Cough 1. Cover mouth/nose when sneezing or coughing with tissue. 2. If no tissue, use elbow instead of hands to cover mouth/nose. 3. Use tissue and dispose of appropriately. 4. Wash your hands with soap and water after contact with respiratory secretions —use hand sanitizer if necessary until you can wash.
C#2: Clean Your Hands Washing your hands frequently throughout your day is prevention that helps stop the flu! • Before eating, cooking, after coughing/sneezing always WASH your hands: • Soap and warm water • Minimum of 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) • Use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if necessary until you can wash with soap and water.
If you get ill with flu-like symptoms—stay home. This keeps others from being exposed to the virus. Avoid contact with others except to get medical care. Don’t go back to work or school until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. C#3: Contain Your Illness
Do I need to go to the doctor for flu-like symptoms? • So far, most people have gotten only mild illness and have not needed medical care or anti-viral treatment for flu-like symptoms. • But, even healthy people can develop severe illness from the flu, so if you have any concerns, contact your doctor.
When should I go to the doctor? • Some people are more likely than others to get flu complications and should call their doctor for advice if they have flu-like symptoms: • Children under age 5—and especially under age 2 • People age 65 or older • Pregnant women • People who have cancer, blood disorders, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney, liver, neurological, or neuromuscular disorders, or a weakened immune system.
When should I go to the Emergency Room? • Contact your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms. • Go to the ER only if you are very sick—not for mild illness. • Emergency warning signs vary for children and adults.
Emergency warning signs for adults include: • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen • Sudden dizziness • Confusion • Severe or persistent vomiting • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Emergency warning signs for children include: • Fast breathing or trouble breathing • Bluish or gray skin color (call 911 immediately) • Not drinking enough fluids • Severe or persistent vomiting • Not waking up or not interacting • Being so irritable that child does not want to be held • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Vaccination is the best prevention against seasonal and H1N1 flu • Vaccination against a flu virus builds a response in your body that recognizes the flu virus • Since your body is prepared against the flu virus, your body’s immune system is ready to fight the flu • Seasonal flu vaccine does not prepare your body to fight the H1N1 flu virus —you need to get the H1N1 flu vaccine to fight H1N1!
Stop the flu through vaccination Seasonal flu vaccine is already available now—so get your seasonal flu shot as soon as possible! H1N1 flu vaccine will be coming in several shipments in October, November, December. H1N1 flu vaccine will come in both a nasal mist and an injection form.
Who should get a Seasonal Influenza vaccine? People ages 50 and older Pregnant women Children ages 6 months-18 years old Caregivers of children younger than 6 months People who have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications Health care workers and people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu
Who should get H1N1 flu vaccine? • Based on H1N1 illness patterns, some people are at higher risk of complications from H1N1 than others and are in priority groups for H1N1 vaccine. • Therefore, as H1N1 vaccine first becomes available, the people in priority Groups will be offered H1N1 vaccine first. • Eventually, everyone will be offered H1N1 vaccine, as more becomes available.
What are the H1N1 priority groups to receive vaccine first? • Pregnant women • Persons who live with or provide care for infants aged <6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers) • Health-care and emergency medical services personnel • Persons aged 6 months - 24 years • Persons aged 25 - 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
What type of H1N1 vaccination will priority groups receive? • All priority groups may receive H1N1 vaccination by injection. • Some people in the priority groups can also receive the nasal mist form of H1N1 vaccine: healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2-49 in the priority groups may receive the nasal mist form of H1N1 vaccine.
How many doses of vaccine are needed for H1N1? • One dose of vaccine is needed for peoples ages 10 and older. • Two doses are needed for people younger than 10 years old and should be given three weeks apart.
Can people get both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccine? • People can receive both vaccines, even on the same day, if they are in the risk group for seasonal flu. • Since seasonal flu vaccine is available right now, people are encouraged to get it now if they are in the seasonal flu risk group.
Is the H1N1 vaccine safe? • H1N1 vaccine prepared the same safe way that all seasonal flu vaccines are prepared - the technology is safe and proven. • The recent H1N1 vaccine trials tested how effective the vaccine is so dose level and # can be determined. • The allergies and health factors that prevent people from receiving seasonal flu remain the same for H1N1 flu (Example: egg allergies) • Every person will be screened before they receive H1N1 vaccine against these factors.
Where can I get a Flu Vaccine? Seasonal and H1N1 vaccine will be available in many different places in Kane County Private doctor’s offices Hospitals Pharmacy chains Federally Qualified Health Centers Health Departments
How can I get the details of when and where to get vaccine? • The Kane County Health Department will post locations, dates, and times for seasonal and H1N1 vaccination available in Kane County at: www.kanehealth.com • www.kanehealth.com will be updated on a daily basis with information and resources to assist families, businesses, schools, and the community to prevent the flu.
Kane County Health Department www.kanehealth.com Pandemic Flu www.pandemicflu.gov Center for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov 1-800-CDC-INFO Fluwikie www.fluwikie.com World Health Organization www.who.int Illinois Dept. of Public Health www.idph.il.us Resources