By Denise Bosey R.N.
H1N1 is the hot topic these days. Should you or your family get the vaccine? How can you protect yourself and your family from contracting this? What’s the difference between the inhaled vaccine and the injection and which one is best for you and your family?
H1N1 (or the Swine Flu) is a very potent strain of the flu. It can be as mild as a low grade fever and a cough or powerful enough to put you in the hospital. It affects people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
It is suggested that all people from the ages of 6 months to 24 years should be vaccinated as well as pregnant women or people over 24 with chronic medical conditions such as asthma. The inhaled vaccine is a live virus and can be given to children or adults with no chronic medical conditions. The injection is a dead virus and is suggested for pregnant women and people with medical conditions.
Protecting yourself from getting H1N1 is as simple as washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer in between. Teaching your children not to share food, drinks, or personal items with their friends and classmates will go a long way in stopping the transmission of H1N1. Staying home from work or school when you are not feeling well can also slow the progression of this sometimes deadly virus.
So, get plenty of rest, eat well, wash your hands, and most of all get vaccinated and protect you and your family from H1N1.