Monday, October 26, 2009

HINI (Swine Flu) Declared National Emergency

Over the weekend, President Obama declared a national emergency as the HINI virus has now spread to 46 US states and claimed 1000 lives thus far. Widespread shortages in the availability of the HINI vaccine around the country has resulted in long lines outside health clinics and mounting frustration for parents of the young children who have emerged as the most at risk group from this virus wanting to vaccinate and protect their children. Health experts admit that the production of the HINI vaccine dosages has been slower than originally projected, however they are quick to assure the public that the vaccine will be widely available by mid-November.

If you are among the many people who are waiting for the vaccination to become available in your area there are things that you can do to reduce your risks of exposure to the HINI virus.

· Cough/sneeze into your elbow and not into your hands. This goes against the longstanding advice most are familiar with to cover your mouth and nose with your hands whenever you cough or sneeze. This practice prevents bacteria expelled from the nose and mouth from ending up on your hands and either re-entering your body when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, or from contaminating the surfaces and other people that you come into contact with around you.

·Frequent hand-washing with antibacterial soap and very warm water, as well as using hand sanitizers in gel form or wipes, is also recommended for reducing your exposure to the HINI flu virus. Sanitizer wipes tend to be more practical for younger children while teens generally find hand sanitizing gels more practical for them. Wash your hands after any possible exposure to HINI germs such as touching surfaces, handling money, or shaking hands with someone.

·Some people are pushing the ‘elbow-bump’ as the newest and safest way to greet someone else. This may not always be possible or appropriate in a business setting. In business and social settings today with everyone aware of the HINI pandemic it is acceptable to carry and use hand sanitizers after shaking hands to protect yourself from this deadly virus.

·Do not re-use tissues. Throw away your tissue after a single use and get a fresh one to avoid re-introducing germs back into your body that your immune system and body has already worked hard to get rid of.

·Avoid enclosed areas lacking proper ventilation with people in them wherever possible. Offices and other work spaces, restaurants, meeting places, as well as classrooms all need good ventilation to reduce the spreading of the HINI virus from person to person. Certainly if you or your child is sick with HINI, stay home until you have not had a fever for at least 24hrs without using fever-reducing medications, and do not expose others to the virus.

·Do your best not to panic over the presence of HINI this flu season. Top health experts have staid that there will be enough vaccines available in just a few weeks for everyone wanting the HINI flu vaccine. Media coverage of the HINI pandemic is sure to expand as confirmed cases of HINI grows and the government’s health department and health organizations issue new warnings to the public on how they can protect themselves from this deadly flu virus.

Stay healthy!