As some of you are already aware, flu season has arrived in Bahrain! Recent media reports pertaining to Swine Flu/H1N1 cases can be unsettling so here are some basic facts regarding the flu.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness but at times, can lead to complications. One of the recommended ways to protect yourself against many (but not all) of the flu viruses, is by getting a flu vaccine each year (cdc.gov). The other preventative measure we can take is to practice effective basic hygiene which in turn stops the spread of germs.
Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria, not a virus. Taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good and can increase your risk of getting an infection later that may resist antibiotic treatment.
H1N1 is part of the seasonal flu virus and is incorporated into the current flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is available in Bahrain. You should consider obtaining the vaccine if you fall into one of the ‘high risk’ groups (children under 5 years, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems etc.).
Please refer to the following guide for more information/advice:
Flu Guide for Parents
Prevention is better than cure…
Without a doubt, the most effective way to prevent the spread of any infectious disease is to practice good, basic hygiene. Always remember to:
Effective hand washing requires 15 – 20 seconds of ‘scrubbing’ your hands.
Wash your hands with soap and water on a regular basis but especially before eating and after using the bathroom (use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available).
Encourage those around you to cover their coughs and sneezes, either with a tissue or their elbow. Soiled tissues need to be disposed of immediately and hands cleaned.
Eat a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, get a good night’s sleep and a daily dose of exercise!
Drink plenty! The temperature in Bahrain may have dropped but it’s still essential that we stay well hydrated throughout the day.
If you are unwell, stay at home, rest and recover. Children should not attend school if they are coughing uncontrollably, have an acute runny nose, high fever (or require medicine to keep their temperature normal), are vomiting or have diarrhea.
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