Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus 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 Novel H1N1 virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.
The symptoms of novel H1N1 (swine) flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Also, like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has
occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.
With seasonal flu, we know that seasons vary in terms of timing, duration and severity. Seasonal influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Each year, in the United States, on average 36,000 people die from flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related causes. Of those hospitalized, 20,000 are children younger than 5 years old. Over 90% of deaths and about 60% of
hospitalization occur in people older
STAYING HEALTHY TIPS
WAXIE’s Green Partner Support Program promotes workplace wellness and encourages the following practices to stay heathy.
HAND HYGIENE - Clean Hands Save Lives!
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It is best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.
When should you wash your hands?
• Before preparing or eating food
• After going to the bathroom
• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
• Before and after tending to someone who is sick
• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• After handling an animal or animal waste
• After handling garbage
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
FACILITY CLEANING & DISINFECTING
General Facilities: Influenza viruses may live on hard surfaces for up to two days. Evaluate and implement measures to minimize the transmission of the virus through environmental sources, specifically hard surfaces. Train custodial personnel on flu transmission methods. Establish standards for use of personal protective equipment. Train all custodial employees on the proper use and disposal of personal protective equipment. As frequently as is practical, clean hard surfaces that are commonly touched by employees with a neutral detergent followed by a disinfectant solution.
Hard surfaces may include:
• Light switches
• Equipment controls
• Vending machines
• Chair arms
• Copier/printer/fax control buttons
• Cabinet and file drawer knobs/handles
• Hand rails
• Door knobs/handles
• Elevator buttons
• Sinks and faucets
• Counter tops
• Window sills