Novel Influenza A (H1N1)/2009 (Swine Flu)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that novel influenza A (H1N1)/2009, originally referred to as "swine flu," is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. Novel influenza A was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. Other countries, including Mexico and Canada, have reported people sick with this new virus. The number of confirmed cases in the United States continues to rise. This virus is spreading from person to person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.
Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect humans against this virus. The H1N1 flu virus strain causing the current outbreak is very different from human H1N1 viruses and, therefore, vaccines for this past season's flu most likely do not provide protection from this H1N1 flu virus.
Antiviral drugs can make the illness milder, make the individual feel better faster and may also prevent serious influenza complications. In treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started as soon after getting sick as possible. Antiviral medication is recommended for those with severe illness, or those with illness who are at high risk for complications from influenza.
Influenza antiviral drugs can also be used to prevent influenza when given to a person who is at high risk for complications from influenza, is not ill, but who has been in close contact with a person with H1N1 influenza. Antiviral medication can also be used to prevent influenza in healthcare workers who have been exposed to a person with known influenza.
Because of H1N1's newness and potential for harm, several healthcare organizations have developed resources and guidelines to bring necessary information to healthcare providers, healthcare workers and citizens of Wisconsin. Below, are some of the most current and valuable sources of information along with a partial list of the information they provide:
Home page: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
Home page: PandemicFlu.Gov http://www.pandemicflu.gov/index.html
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