» » How to protect yourself from Swine Flu

Once an influenza virus such as Influenza A (H1NI), or Swine Flu as it is commonly known, reaches pandemic proportions any one of us could be at risk of catching the virus, including healthy young adults, older people, pregnant women, young children and the infirm. So far, most cases of fatal Swine Flu infection have occurred in people with weakened immune systems such as the very young and those with severe underlying medical conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is co-coordinating the global response to Swine Flu and monitoring cases world-wide. WHO reports that the overwhelming majority of patients have experienced mild influenza-like symptoms - such as sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever, malaise, headache, joint/muscle pain - and have made a full recovery within a week, often without the need for medical intervention or the use of antiviral treatment.
But whether we like it or not, there's a virus out there that can attack at random and anyone of us could be susceptible to the infection, and we should all be aware of the warning signs to enable us to seek urgent medical advice when appropriate.
WARNING SIGNS IN ADULTS
* Difficulty in breathing
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* High fever that lasts for more than three days
WARNING SIGNS IN CHILDREN
* Extreme lethargy, that is, a child that:
* Has difficulty waking up
* Is no longer alert
* Is not playing
If you suffer any of these symptoms, particularly when accompanied by a rapid worsening of your condition, you should seek urgent medical attention in line with the guidance from your own national authority.
What can I do to protect myself from infection?
As there is no vaccine generally available (at the time of writing), the single most effective measure you can take to protect yourself from infection is to wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
The principles of good hygiene are certainly not new to the majority of us, but practised on a more regular basis, especially if you are eating, touching your face, or touching surfaces that are potentially contaminated, may enable us to avoid the spread of infection.
Germs are spread by an infected person through airborne droplets which are expelled by coughing and sneezing. The germs settle on surfaces and can survive for two hours or more. If you come into contact with the germs by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face, or breathing in airborne particles, you too can become infected.
Once infected, your best defense is to help your body fight off viral invasion by keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Your immune system thrives on a nutritionally balanced diet including a combination of protein-rich meat, chicken, eggs, milk and diary, zinc-rich fish, pulse vegetables, nuts, seeds, soya-based foods, bright orange and dark green fruits and vegetables such as carrots and spinach, plus a daily intake of vitamin C-rich foods such as peppers and citrus fruits.
The golden rule is to keep abreast of developments in your own country and follow the guidance issued nationally, but overall, the opportunities to enjoy a healthy expatriate lifestyle are fantastic. With consideration given to vigilance, good hygiene, a healthy balanced diet, and having a good quality worldwide health insurance plan, expatriates can relax and enjoy the benefits of their environment with confidence, wherever they are.
Article Source: http://www.ArticleStreet.com/




About the Author

Dr Jace Clarke is the Chief Medical Officer at specialist expatriate insurance provider, William Russell.
Image by: The Artifex

About George Robinson

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