1. The transmission routes of influenza A (H1N1):
The transmission of the influenza A (H1N1) virus is similar to that of the seasonal influenza, which is spread primarily from person to person through droplets created when a person infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with influenza viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Adults with the illness can infect others from 1 day before the onset of symptoms to up to 7 days after the onset of symptoms. However, for patients with longer course of the disease, the spread of the virus is still possible during the illness course. Besides, the infectious period for infected children might be longer.
2. The symptoms of influenza A (H1N1):
The symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people with influenza A (H1N1) have also reported diarrhea or vomiting.
3. Everyday steps to prevent influenza A (H1N1):
(1). Stay away from the infection source: Avoid going to crowded places or visiting patients in hospitals.
(2). Practice good personal hygiene: Wash hands frequently and practice good hygiene habits. When it is impossible to wash hands using soap and water, use alcohol-based (above 60%) hand cleaners to clean hands.
(3). Maintain personal health: Keep a balanced diet and maintain adequate exercise.
4. If symptoms similar to that of influenza A (H1N1) develop, wear a mask immediately to protect others and inform the local health unit for assistance to seek medical attention. People with respiratory symptoms should maintain respiratory hygiene and keep coughing etiquette:
(1). People should wear a mask when they develop respiratory symptoms such as coughing, and throw the mask into a trash can and change to a new one if it is contaminated with respiratory secretions.
(2). Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue or handkerchief is not available, it is preferable to cover the nose and mouth with the upper sleeve. .
(3). If you have respiratory symptoms, keep a talking distance of about 1m or more with others.
(4). Whenever touching respiratory secretions, wash your hands thoroughly immediately.
(5). Stay at home when sick and avoid going out unless when seeking medical attention.