The H1N1 strain is included in the seasonal influenza vaccine. There are also medications available to help in the prevention and treatment of H1N1 flu. These are called antiviral medications. There are 2 classes available: M2 inhibitors (e.g., amantadine*) and neuraminidase inhibitors (e.g., oseltamivir, zanamivir).
Most people with previously reported H1N1 flu have been able to recover fully without medical attention and without antiviral medications. However, the occurrence of outbreaks indicate that treatment with antivirals may be needed, especially for people who have moderate-to-severe symptoms and for people who are at risk for complications of influenza (e.g., people with underlying medical conditions).
For people who are sick, help yourself get better and prevent the spread of the virus by doing the following:
- Stay at home if you are sick. Do not go to work or school.
- Stay at least 1 metre away from other people.
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw your used tissue in the garbage. If you do not have tissue available, cover your sneezes with your sleeve or hands. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Make sure to wash your hands with soap for at least 15 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don't have access to soap and water.
There are ways to protect yourself from catching the H1N1 flu virus. By far, the most effective preventative measure is to get the influenza vaccine just before the annual flu season (generally November through April in North America). People who are travelling in areas where an H1N1 flu virus outbreak has occurred need to take special precautions to reduce the chance of exposure to the H1N1 flu virus. Here are some tips to prevent flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and who have symptoms of H1N1 flu (e.g., fever, cough).
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly. To ensure proper sanitization, you should wash your hands with soap for at least 15 seconds. Use alcohol-based sanitizers if handwashing is not convenient.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/H1N1-Influenza