Swine Flu Prevention
To prevent the spread of swine flu a number of steps can be taken.
The following measures will have varying degrees of effectiveness in preventing swine flu.
Frequent Hand Washing
The hands may come into contact with the virus through touching surfaces with the virus on them.
If the hands then touch the nose or the mouth there is a good chance the virus will be transmitted to the body. Washing hands frequently reduces this risk of transmission.
Keep A Clean Environment
The cleaner your home or office the less chance the swine flu virus can survive on the surface of objects such as door handles and desktops.
Depending on conditions, a virus can survive for over two hours on the surface of everyday objects such as table surfaces, door handles and taps.
Wear A Face Mask If You Are In An Infected Area
Wearing a face mask can help prevent transmission. However they are not as effective as many people would like to think and need to be kept clean and dry to offer any protection.
Ideally face masks should be replaced on a daily basis making them an uneconomical option if the swine flu virus becomes pandemic and affects a large proportion of the population.
Sneeze Into A Handkerchief
Instead of into your hands. If you become infected and sneeze into your hands there is increased risk of transmission to others if you touch and leave the virus on objects such as door handles and table surfaces. If a handkerchief is not available, sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
Avoid Traveling To Infected Areas
People should only make essential trips to areas where there is a high number of reported cases of swine flu. If swine flu is classed as pandemic, the governments of the countries concerned may impose their own travel restrictions to heavily affected areas.
Swine Flu Vaccination / Flu Shots
Flu shots taken to prevent seasonal flu are thought to be ineffective against this relatively new strain of flu.
During a previous outbreak of swine flu in 1976, swine flu vaccinations were given, however they are unlikely to be effective against the recent mutated form.
A new vaccine may be worked on if the virus becomes pandemic and spreads throughout the world. It could take up to 6 months before a new vaccination is produced and released.