WHO authorities have benefited from the previous bout of H5N1 virus (Avian flu) by way of being prepared to combat the current strain of the Swine flu. Countries have developed better strategies of suppressing the spread of the virus, such as limiting public gatherings, airport thermal-screening of passengers arriving from selected countries and the temporary closing of schools. Several airlines have upgraded their air filters and sanitizing methods and are more diligent in changing used blankets, pillow and headsets.
In some countries, health officials are taking into consideration launching more extreme measures such as health screening in schools, kindergartens and institutions of higher learning. To date, airport screenings (including obtaining throats swabs from passengers from infected countries) have proved to be helpful. Those who display flu-like symptoms are advised not to shake hands and to wear a mask to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
The current drug used for treating the Swine flu virus is Relenza. Health authorities in infected countries are advised to use these drugs to treat only the hospitalized and seriously ill to avoid a case of short supply. Vaccination is one of the best methods to protect people from getting infected by the regular influenza virus. Currently, WHO has requested for the production of a seasonal Swine flu vaccine, similar to other mass-produced seasonal vaccines. Since it has taken such a short time to declare the Swine flu a pandemic, WHO will now be pressured to switch the current production of a seasonal vaccine to a pandemic vaccine, even if halting the seasonal vaccine immediately would not enable the swift manufacturing of the pandemic vaccine.
1. Reduce travel to infected countries.
2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
4. Keep surfaces on chairs, tables, wall and floors (including bed linens, kitchen utensils and counters) in all
rooms in your home spotless and sterile.
5. Toys should be disinfected regularly with a mild and effective detergent, which will not cause any skin
reactions or allergies.
6. Improve ventilation of frequently used rooms.
7. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing using a tissue or other disposable materials. After
immediately disposing the materials, wash hands with water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
8. Masks should cover both mouth and nose and should leave no gaps between the mask and face. Do not re-use masks and wash your hands every time a mask is discarded.
9. Keep food clean and separate raw and cooked food. Food should be cooked thoroughly. Keep food at safe
temperatures. Use safe and clean water on raw ingredients.
If you follow the precautionary and prevention steps give, you should minimize the risk of being infected by Swine flu.