10: Swine Flu

Oct 26, 2009   //   by drxuacupuncture   //   Blog, Case Discussions, Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

Dear Friends and Patients:

Autumn is here. We hope you are enjoying the wonderful color of the season.

Now, it is the time for our News Letter 10. President Obama declared Swine Flu an emergency. We will describe the updated info about swine flu in the News Letter 10. Please enjoy the info we provide, it might help you for your family members or friends. You may call our office at 203-637-7720 for further info. Please feel free to forward this news letter to somebody you concern, as long as it is not  for commercial use. As you know, this news letter is copyrighted.

Best wishes,

Jun Xu, M.D and Hong Su Xu, C.M.D.


News Letter, Vol. 1 (10), October, 2009, © Copyright

Jun Xu, M.D. Lic. Acup., Hong Su, C.M.D., Lic.
Acup.

www.rmac.yourmd.com;

www.drxuacupuncture.co

Rehabilitation
Medicine and Acupuncture Center

1171 East
Putnam Avenue, Building 1, 2nd Floor

Greenwich, CT 06878

Tel: (203) 637-7720

New Info About Swine Flu

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President Obama declared the swine flu an emergency. However, please do not be panic, here is the most updated info about Swine, and I will instruct you what you should prepare for this emergency in this news letter.

During the week of October 11-17, 2009, a review of the key indictors found that influenza activity continued to increase in the United States from the previous week according to the data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) increased steeply since last week in the United States, and overall, are much higher than what is expected for this time of the year.

centers_for_disease_control_and_prevention

  • Total influenza hospitalization rates for laboratory-confirmed flu are climbing and are higher than expected for this time of year.

h1n1_hospitalizations

  • The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) based on the 122 Cities Report has increased and has been higher than what is expected at this time of year for two weeks. In addition, 11 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported this week; 9 of these deaths were confirmed 2009 H1N1, and two were influenza A viruses, but were not subtyped. Since April 2009, CDC has received reports of 95 laboratory-confirmed pediatric 2009 H1N1 deaths and another 7 pediatric deaths that were laboratory confirmed as influenza, but where the flu virus subtype was not determined.

h1n1_2

  • Forty-six states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota,
    Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This many reports of widespread activity are unprecedented during seasonal flu.
  • Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far are 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception.

What should you do? Please find the following common Q & A:

Are there human infections with 2009 H1N1 virus in the U.S.?

Yes. Human infections with 2009 H1N1 are ongoing in the United States. Most people who have become ill with this new virus have recovered without requiring medical treatment.

Is 2009 H1N1 virus contagious?

The 2009 H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.

How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?

Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

pic5What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?

The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

This season, there is a seasonal flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu viruses and a 2009 H1N1 vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (sometimes called “swine flu”). A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu infection. Please call your PCP for the vaccine, which should be available since November 1, 2009.

There are also everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.*
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness,

    CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
    except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

 

Who will be recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine?

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems. If  you are not in the above category, you may not need the vaccine. You many need to take steps with the recommendations in this article.

Other important actions that you can take are:

  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs * (for when soap and water are not available), tissues and other related items could help you to avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?

pic6If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

Keep away from others as much as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

If I have a family member at home who is sick with 2009 H1N1 flu, should I go to work?

Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with 2009 H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including covering their coughs and sneezes and washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, they should use an alcohol-based hand rub.* If they become ill, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs. For more information please see General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. CDC recommends that when you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.* You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What are “emergency warning signs” that should signal anyone to seek medical care urgently?

In children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

table_what_to_do_8What should I do if I get sick?

pic_9If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal flu.

However, some people are more likely to get flu complications and they should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to be examined if they get flu symptoms this season. They are:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have:
    • Cancer
    • Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
    • Chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)
    • Neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
    • Weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)

Also, it’s possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a health care provider.

There are emergency warning signs. Anyone who has them should get medical care right away.

What are the emergency warning signs?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

pic_12Do I need to go the emergency room if I am only a little sick?

No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.

Are there medicines to treat 2009 H1N1?

Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 called “antiviral drugs.” These drugs can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications. This flu season, antiviral drugs are being used mainly to treat people who are very sick, such as people who need to be hospitalized, and to treat sick people who are more likely to get serious flu complications. Your health care provider will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed to treat your illness. Remember, most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal
flu.

pic_13How long should I stay home if I’m sick?

CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®.) You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

What should I do while I’m sick?

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. And wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others. CDC has information on “Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home” on its website at:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm

Are there medicines to treat 2009 H1N1 infection?

Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 called “antiviral drugs.” These drugs can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications. This flu season, antiviral drugs are being used mainly to treat people who are very sick, such as people who need to be hospitalized, and to treat sick people who are more likely to get serious flu complications. Your health care provider will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed to treat your illness. Remember, most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal
flu.

pic_14How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?

Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface.

What kills influenza virus?

Influenza virus is destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols are effective against human influenza viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time.

*What if soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed in my facility?

If soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?

Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How should waste disposal be handled to prevent the spread of influenza virus?

To prevent the spread of influenza virus, it is recommended that tissues and other disposable items used by an infected person be thrown in the trash. Additionally, persons should wash their hands with soap and water after touching used tissues and similar waste.

How can  acupuncture and Chinese herb help for prevention of swine flu?

There are many Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment currently using in China. However, there is no specific evidence that Chinese herb and acupuncture may help. You may ask Dr. Xu directly in person about the specific questions.

The above info is cited mostly from the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

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