Members of staff and students
As you are fully aware of the spread of Swine Flu, the following information is brought to your notice to protect yourself from it :-
What is swine influenza and influenza A (H1N1)?
Swine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that normally only affects pigs. It is commonly caused by H1N1 strains of swine influenza A virus. However, other strains, such as H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 also circulate in pigs. While it is not usual for people to get swine flu, human infections do occasionally happen, mainly after close contact with infected pigs.
The World Health Organisation says that this new strain of influenza, called influenza A (H1N1), can spread from person to person. Experts around the world are working closely with the World Health Organisation to help determine what risk this virus poses to the public. There is some concern that this new strain could cause a human flu pandemic.
What are the symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) in humans?
When people are infected with swine flu viruses, their symptoms are usually similar to those of normal seasonal influenza. These include fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, coughing and a sore throat. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhoea.
How does influenza A (H1N1) spread between people?
This new influenza virus is thought to spread in the same way as seasonal flu; in tiny droplets, expelled from the mouth and nose of an infected person when they talk, cough or sneeze. People may get infected if they breathe in these droplets or if they touch someone or something that is contaminated with the virus (e.g. a used tissue or door handle), and then touch their nose or eyes.
Is treatment available?
Antiviral medicines, such as oseltamivir or zanamivir, are available. These may shorten the illness and reduce the risk of complications. These drugs may cause side-effects and are not suitable for everyone, so your doctor will only prescribe them if the benefits outweigh the risks.
How the diagnosis should be done ?
Laboratory test of respiratory sample.
What precautions could be taken ?
Good hygiene can help to reduce the spread of a wide range of viruses, including influenza viruses. The Health Protection Agency advises everyone to follow these precautions at all times:
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water.
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if possible.
Dispose of used tissues promptly and carefully. Put them in a bag and then bin them.
Clean hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently.
How can we remove flu viruses from surfaces?
Cleaning surfaces with detergent and water can remove germs from an item provided you scrub all the surfaces and rinse them thoroughly with clean water. However, where proper rinsing is not possible (e.g. large or fixed surfaces such as kitchen worktops, toilet flushes and door handles) it is important to use a disinfectant to help kill the germs. It is particularly important to clean and disinfect surfaces that people often touch with their hands, such as;
Handles and switches
Taps and toilet flush handles
NOTE:- The class teacher should watch the students carefully and if he/she finds any signs and symptoms of flu, the parents should be asked not to send such children to school for seven days.