Swine Flu in Prague

Information and medical advice on Influenza A (H1N1) courtesy of Dr. Irena Peprná from Canadian Medical Care

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.10.2009 15:24:01 (updated on 05.10.2009) Reading time: 2 minutes

What is Influenza A (H1N1)?

Influenza A (H1N1) is different from the ordinary or seasonal flu that occurs every winter.

· It has spread rapidly around the world
· It could be highly infectious
· It may affect large numbers of people
· It is likely to cause more severe illness than ordinary flu
· It may cause more deaths than ordinary flu
· It may occur in two or more waves several months apart – with each wave
possibly lasting weeks or months

How will I know if I have Influenza A(H1N1)?

You will have the same symptoms as if you had the ordinary flu but they will probably be sudden, and may be severe. They may include:

· Temperature over 38°C/100.4 F and some of the following:
· Dry cough
· Sore throat
· Headache
· Runny nose
· Severe weakness and fatigue
· Vomiting/diarrhea
· Aching muscles and joints

These can lead to complications some of which may be severe.

What can I do to help prevent the spread of the flu?

If you are ill, or think you might be:

· Stay at home
· Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with paper tissue
   if possible – the virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes
· Use a tissue only once and dispose of it quickly and carefully – bag and bin it
· Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
· Wash hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops, door handles, etc. with a
   normal household cleaner as the virus can live on these surfaces
· Avoid large crowds of people whenever possible
· Make sure to tell your children and others to follow this advice

What should I do if I catch the flu?

· In case of infection, consult with the attending physician, stay at home, do not go to work, school or among other people
· Rest, drink plenty of liquids
· Use a facemask to prevent infecting others
· Seek a doctor´s help in the case of: respiratory problems and/or a fever lasting for more than three days. In children: if breathing becomes fast or difficult, fever or spasms continue or in case of other uncommon symptoms.

Higher risk groups

Some people are at a higher risk of complications from flu. They may require additional treatment or monitoring. This group includes people with:
· heart failure
· chronic lung disease
· diabetes
· kidney disease
· people receiving cancer treatment.
· children under three years
· pregnant women.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Contact your doctor as soon as you develop flu-like symptoms.

Vaccination

A vaccine against pandemic flu type A (H1N1) is currently not available in the Czech Republic. Vaccination against common (seasonal) flu is highly recommended.

Based on the recommendation issued by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, Canadian Medical Care appeals to the general and professional public to strongly consider getting vaccinated against seasonal influenza in particular with regard to the possible overlapping of seasonal influenza and with pandemic influenza type H1N1 2009.  In the current epidemiological situation, due to the occurrence of pandemic influenza type H1N1 2009, the importance of vaccination against seasonal influenza should not be underestimated.  Non-vaccinated individuals may suffer from seasonal influenza which weakens the body´s immune system and in the event of infection with pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, the course of the disease may be worse than usual.

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