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SwineFlu

H1N1 MYTHS AND FACTS—

LEARN THE TRUTH; IGNORE WHAT’S FALSE

 

I already received the seasonal flu shot, so I don’t need the H1N1 vaccine, too.
False—The H1N1 influenza virus is a new strain that has never before circulated among the human population and cannot be treated with the seasonal flu vaccine. Individuals should continue to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine, while also seeking other treatment for the 2009 H1N1 virus.1

Symptoms of the H1N1 flu and the seasonal flu are very similar and are difficult to differentiate.
True—Symptoms of the H1N1 flu are similar to the seasonal flu and can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue, and sometimes nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. You should seek the advice of a medical professional or reputable public health authority or agency regarding the steps you should take if you think you might be suffering from the H1N1 flu.2

I should wait 24 hours after I feel better to go back to work.
True—The 2009 H1N1 virus can be spread to others one day prior to seeing symptoms, and up to five to seven days after. The virus can be contagious much longer in some people, especially children and individuals with weakened immune systems. If you experience flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.3

I could catch swine flu from a pig at a petting zoo and from eating pork chops for dinner.
False—H1N1 flu is thought to be spread in the same manner as the seasonal flu. Touching your own eyes, mouth, or nose after inhaling germs spread by an infected person or touching surfaces on which the virus is present can lead to contracting the virus. The 2009 H1N1 virus is not spread between pigs and humans or by food, including pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.4

I should wear a surgical mask at all times to protect myself from contracting H1N1.
False—While it might sound like a good idea, surgical masks are not designed or certified to prevent the inhalation of small airborne viruses and diseases. In fact, it is possible that airborne H1N1 viruses can pass through the gaps between the face and the surgical mask, thus infecting the mask wearer.5

1
Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccines Questions and Answers. Accessed 17 Sept. 2009.
http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm182335.htm
2
Vicks® H1N1 Information. Accessed 21 Sept. 2009.
http://www.vicks.com/stay-well/swine-flu
3
H1N1 Flu. Accessed 17 Sept. 2009.
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/exclusion.htm
4
2009 H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") and You. Accessed 17 Sept. 2009.
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm#d
5