By the new influenza A/H1N1 virus (swine flu began calling and new flu ") is produced by a new subtype of influenza virus against which, precisely because they are new, are not immunized, and there are many people who will be risk. In contrast, many people have immunity to the virus of seasonal influenza (flu that occurs primarily in winter every year) so the population is less susceptible to infection.
What is pandemic flu? The pandemic is an epidemic that affects at the same time many countries in the world. How is it spread the virus A/H1N1? Contagion, when a flu virus, it's like the seasonal flu are spread from person to person, primarily through the air in droplets of saliva and nasal secretions that are expelled by coughing, speaking or sneezing. These microdroplets breathing may be in the hands, on surfaces or dispersed in the air. Therefore, the virus can be transmitted indirectly by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after having touched the microdroplets or respiratory secretions from an infected person who had remained in their hands, or put in what superficies.En period can be spread the virus? The virus can be transmitted from 1 day before symptoms start until 7 days later. Its maximum capacity of contagion is the first 3 days after symptoms begin. To ensure that there is transmitted to other people, it is advisable to stay home until the fever and respiratory symptoms. What are the symptoms of influenza A/H1N1? The symptoms are those of any flu may be a cough, sore throat, headache, fever over 38 degrees, especially the first two days, muscle aches, malaise, nasal congestion, sneezing, and vomiting and diarrhea . Typically, the flu is moving in 2-4 days but can continue to cough a week and feeling tired during the weeks following the onset of the disease. Does the flu can be serious in any case? As in the cases of seasonal influenza, the flu can be serious for some vulnerable groups of population such as elderly, children, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases (respiratory diseases, cardiovascular, immune and other chronic diseases ). Very rarely may be serious for healthy people who do not belong to these risk groups. Can we remain calm about the current situation? It's important to follow the recommendations to prevent and slow the spread of the virus. In Spain, are on preventive measures and health system is prepared to face this situation. Protocols for action are agreed by the Ministry of Health and Social Policy and the autonomous communities, which are coordinated among themselves and with international agencies. Is there a vaccine to the new virus? In no time, but work is to produce and is expected to be available for the fall. The vaccines being used against seasonal influenza (flu that occurs primarily in winter every year) have not proven effective against the new virus. Are there medicines to treat the flu? Yes, the new flu virus is treated as seasonal influenza, medications that relieve symptoms for fever, for cough, muscle aches, etc.. In Spain are also available antiviral treatments that can be useful: oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Ralenza ®). These drugs act by having fewer symptoms, which are lighter and helps to avoid possible complications. Antivirals must be prescribed by medical professionals always and only in selected cases. The irresponsible use of these medicines can contribute to resistance of the virus, thus reducing their effectiveness. These medications are not dispensed in pharmacies and must be prescribed by a doctor. The flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not indicated. It is not necessary to routinely administer treatment with antivirals such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) or zanamivir (Relenza ®). Treatment is only indicated in patients belonging to risk groups mentioned above. The initiation of treatment must be made within 48h after onset of symptoms. Is it recommended the use of masks? Has not been proven that the widespread use of masks by the public reduce the spread of the virus, much less in open spaces. Masks can be of some use to people who are in contact with sick or microdroplets that contain themselves sick expel by coughing or sneezing. But if not used correctly can increase the risk of transmission. We do not recommend the use of masks for the general population. Is only recommended for use while sick people are in contact with other people and people who care for them. Can I travel to other countries? Yes Neither Spain nor the international agencies (World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control of the United States, European Union) recommend restricting travel because of this new flu AH1N1. Per A/H1N1 influenza has been confirmed in many countries of the world, so the restriction of travel would have little or no effect on the spread of the disease. People who are traveling can protect themselves and others while maintaining some simple hygiene recommendations. These are measures that can limit the spread of many diseases, not only of influenza A/H1N1 by and including the following:
wash their hands regularly with soap and water, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, please contact the health services in case of flu symptoms and pay attention to the possible onset of symptoms until 7 days after returning from the trip. As a general recommendation, sick people should postpone travel have provided, and the passengers return to their home and sick, should receive the necessary medical care. To prevent the spread of the virus is important to follow these tips:
Wash hands frequently: This is the main measure of hygiene.
Droplets that are released to the sneezing, coughing or talking may remain in the hands where the virus can survive for a few minutes (less than 5 minutes). It also can be deposited on surfaces (furniture, doorknobs, objects ...) where the virus can remain for hours to days, so it is important to clean more frequently (daily), these surfaces with the cleaning routine. Cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing (preferably with the elbow) and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you have flu, stay home until the fever and respiratory symptoms and avoid places where lots of people. Good Luck