Baylor Nursing School Offers Tips to Help You Stay Healthy as Swine Flu Cases are Reported

April 27, 2009

Contact: Jill Scoggins, Assistant Vice President for Media Communications, Office, 254-710-1964; Cell, 254-652-9765

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DALLAS - With confirmed human cases of swine flu reported in Texas and others in California, Kansas, New York, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, the Louise Herrington School of Nursing at Baylor University offers the following tips to help you stay healthy:

Don't panic. The current instances of swine flu are cause for concern, not alarm or panic. Health care agencies and professionals nationwide continue to monitor cases of swine flu and provide updates. The public can take everyday actions to help prevent additional cases from arising.

Wash your hands. Hand-washing is one of the most effective ways to avoid the transmission of disease. It is crucial to wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. Hand sanitizers that are alcohol-based are also effective.

Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use a disposable tissue to cover both your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.

Don't touch your nose, mouth or eyes. These areas are where germs spread most rapidly. Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes as much as possible.

As much as possible, steer clear of people who exhibit symptoms. Influenza spreads from infected people when they cough or sneeze.

Stay home from work or school if you exhibit symptoms. The best way to prevent the transmission of disease is isolation. If you get sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible.

Seek medical attention immediately if you get sick. Don't assume that you might just have "the sniffles." Only a trained medical professional can diagnose your symptoms. Get medical attention from a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, physician or other qualified medical professional if you exhibit symptoms.

"From my perspective as a nurse practitioner, response to the outbreaks in Texas has been coordinated and well thought out," said Lori A. Spies, interim family nurse practitioner coordinator at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing. "Texas health department officials are aggressively working to investigate and contain outbreaks while actively educating health care providers on correct diagnosis and treatment protocols. All of us at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing are glad to assist in the public education effort."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working very closely with officials in states where human cases of swine flu have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. This includes deploying staff domestically and internationally to provide guidance and technical support. CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate this investigation.

Laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir and has issued interim guidance for the use of these drugs to treat and prevent infection with swine influenza viruses. CDC also has prepared interim guidance on how to care for people who are sick and interim guidance on the use of face masks in a community setting where spread of this swine flu virus has been detected.

For additional information, go to www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ or contact your nearest health care professional.

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