Thursday, October 29, 2009

H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Information

Do you have questions about the flu? provides one-stop access to U.S. Government information on H1N1, avian and pandemic flu.

Most of the publicity this year has focused on the H1N1 flu (swine flu), but there are thousands of different strains of viruses that can and do cause the flu.

Both seasonal flu and H1N1 are contagious, and their symptoms are the same. Only by seeing your doctor can you be sure if you have the seasonal flu or the H1N1 virus.

Staying Healthy

The two most basic practices a person can do to help prevent catching and spreading germs and viruses are hand washing and covering your cough.

Hand Washing: People in the United States are being advised to be very diligent about hand washing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on their web site about when and how you should wash your hands.

Covering Your Cough : Another important way to prevent the spread of diseases is to properly cover your cough. The CDC provides information on covering your cough.

Other Healthy Practices: There are several other steps the CDC recommends as ways to prevent the spread of flu and other diseases:
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick or when you are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick. Keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other health habits of getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, drinking plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): information on the Seasonal Flu and H1N1 (Swine) Flu

Martha's Vineyard Hospital: Flu Information page includes updates on vaccinations.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH): Flu Website includes Frequently Asked Questions about Seasonal Flu and H1N1 (Swine) Flu; and Factsheets in English and Portuguese.

Massachusetts Public Flu Clinic Finder: flu locator web site listing public flu clinics in Massachusetts.

Medline Plus: Flu information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

All-Island Seasonal Flu Immunization Clinic (Nov. 11, 2009): Information and Registration Form.

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