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10 ways to avoid swine flu

Updated on June 13, 2009

World Health Organization declares pandemic

The WHO declared the H1N1 swine flu a pandemic. This is the first pandemic in 41 years--and they have raised the warning level for the H1N1 flu to 6--the highest threat level they have. The US currently has 13,217 confirmed cases and 27 deaths from swine flu.

Many Americans are scared and wondering what can be done to help protect themselves and their loved ones. While none of these tips can guarantee that you won't catch the swine flu, they can all help to prevent infection.

What can you do to Protect Yourself?

1) Wash your hands. It seems obvious, but it is the first line of defense. Were you out and about? Pushing a shopping cart, touching door knobs, etc.? Wash your hands to kill or remove the germs.

2) Don't touch your face. If you have germs on your hands you will transmit them into your body if you touch you face.

3) Don't go out. The less exposure you have to the world the lower your chance of contracting an illness. If you do go out avoid crowded places.

4) Wear a surgical mask. It will protect you from airborne pathogens as long as it fits properly and is the correct kind.

5) Avoid public restrooms. They are loaded with germs.

6) Don't handle public pens at the bank--you know--the ones at the table where you fill out your deposit slip. In the same category--if you have to use and ATM clean your hands after.

7) Get some hand sanitizer. Carry some alcohol based hand sanitizer with you. Use it after you handle the pen at the bank, the shopping cart, door knobs etc.

8) Don't share utensils. Don't eat of other people forks or plates.

9) Clean or cook all food thoroughly. The people who handled you food at the packing plant or the supermarket could have been sick. For fresh fruits and vegetables wash extensively. You can use some lemon juice to wash fruits and vegetables. The acid will kill some pathogens.

10) Be Healthy. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep. If you do these things your immune system will be stronger and you will fight off infections more easily. If you do get sick you will get well faster.

This list is not a promise, but if you follow it religiously you improve your chances of not contracting the flu.

CDC H1N1 (Swine Flu) Response Actions and Goals


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