Here are some effective steps that could be followed to prevent and isolate swine flu and help in the swine flu prevention.
As the incidents of swine influenza spread across the world, there are some common and sensible points that could be observed by people at hand to prevent its advance and control. Since there is no definite cure for the swine flu, enough stress cannot be placed over the swine flu prevention. Though some sort of vaccine has been developed for the flu infection in pigs, there has not yet been on for safe use in human population.
It has been noticed that like the bird flu, the swine flu too gets transmitted from pigs to humans. There has not been any significant reports of human to human infections. As with typical viruses, this flu virus could evolve out in future to be able to infect humans. Thus effective steps should be taken now to prevent the spread of the swine flu. Since the infections have not yet reached epidemic proportions, there really has not been that much a concern in society. If the need so arises in the future, there could be restrictions placed on gatherings and actions that spread the swine flu prevention. Schools could be closed, travel limitations could be announced and quarantine procedures adopted. Antiviral drugs could also be distributed among the population.
Laid out below are a few points that, if followed, could lead to the effective containment and the final removal of the swine flu virus.
- The role of traditional vaccination: The typical seasonal flu vaccination cannot prevent swine flu. It is ineffective in its action against swine influenza. Thus, do not be under the false impression that it can be done. A vaccine has been developed for certain strains of the flu found in pigs, but a safe vaccine to be applied in humans is yet to be developed.
- Use of face masks: With the first visible signs of the swine flu, there has been a proliferation of face masks. There is nothing to show that this method does indeed lead to swine flu prevention. But the authorities have desisted from telling people so, just for the feel good factor associated with the masks in public. But the health authorities have been insisting that the patients with the viral infection, wear face masks to avoid spreading the virus through droplets. Some common health directives like washing hands often with soap, covering the mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, avoiding the touching of the mouth, nose and eyes, all go a long way in preventing the viral infection from spreading. Other common sense steps are to keep away from others for 24 hrs after fever like symptoms and to keep a safe 6 ft distance from people with influenza like symptoms.
- Flu Parties, how effective is it: There has been a tendency in certain quarters to host flu parties, where a person with the swine flu is the chief guest. The whole logic being that if infected, the attack would only be mild and the infected persons could easily overcome the flu and hence attain swine flu prevention. There can be no saying on how severe the flu could affect individuals. Each person could react differently to the flu and hence the view that it could pass off mildly does not hold water. In some cases it could even turn fatal.
- Planning for eventualities: Plan ahead to take care of possible infections. The best advice is for an infected person to stay at home, away from school and offices. Thus, it makes sense to plan ahead in case you or someone close falls sick and they will have to be tended to. You could possibly stock up on disinfectants, tissues and other necessary items for swine flu prevention.
- Disinfecting material used by patients: It is very usual for the flu virus to linger on material that the patient with the infection came into close contact with. This can be newspapers, textbooks, door knobs, linens, etc. Effort must be taken to clean up after the infection has passed and all the infected material disinfected.
- Preparedness: Avoid complacency. The safety measures recommended must be followed diligently. Any let up, however minor, could have major repercussions. Disinfect all material that came into contact with the sick person always.
- Attention to people in the high risk category: People in the high risk group must be vaccinated against flu and must observe all the necessary precautions for swine flu prevention. Pregnant women, care givers with children below the age of 6 months, emergency and health care professionals and people with weak immune systems and chronic conditions, must be vaccinated without fail.
- Be guarded, always: At times like this, caution must be exercised abundantly. With the appearance of the slightest flu like systems like running nose, fever, sore throat, cough, etc, the person must be restricted to the homes and hospitals. Staying isolated is the best way to prevent further infections and the spread of the infection. Wait a full 24 hours after the last symptoms have disappeared for swine flu prevention.
- Prioritize infections: People with symptoms of swine flue must be tended to immediately. Common sense must prevail in such situations. The severity of the symptoms must match the health profile of the person at hand. So that the needy people without the capacity to battle it out gets the priority they require.
- Role of educating and sensitizing people: People with young children must take time out to explain to them the significance of the swine flu. Enough emphasis must be placed on getting the children to understand the need to maintain personal hygiene and to observe people around them. More important, they must be instructed to inform adults if the slightest uneasiness is felt at any time.
With abundant caution that is necessary in situations like these, the populace usually rises to give support and solace to he needy persons. Effective steps clearly laid out helps avoid panic in such situations. Each infection is effectively isolated and preventive steps taken to minimize spread of the infection. Sufficent medical and para medical staff must be mobilized to effectively contain the situation.