Fighting the flu bug takes vigilance

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent H1N1, but students can take steps every day to fight the flu bug. Here are some tips and facts:

  1. Wash your hands whenever possible, especially before meals. The virus lasts about 30 minutes on hands but can be quickly killed by simple soap and water. Alcohol-based cleanser or hand sanitizer also works well.
  2. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. This is the new proper technique.
  3. Limit physical contact with people who are sick or may be sick
  4. Avoid touching your hands to your nose, mouth and eyes, as germs spread easily through these.
  5. If you think you may be sick, avoid large gatherings.

Many Fairmont teachers are making hand sanitizer available in their classroom, and they’re happy to see students taking advantage of it. “Students are doing a really great job of washing their hands and staying healthy,” said Principal Dan Von Handorf. “We need to keep doing healthy things here at Fairmont.”

If prevention steps fail and you contract the H1N1 virus, the Centers for Disease Control suggests you stay home at least 24 hours after your fever has ceased unless you are still getting medical care. Unless symptoms are very severe, people should not go to the emergency room.

 Flu Facts

  1. The H1N1 virus survives relatively long on hard surfaces — 24 hours.  On clothes, it can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.
  2. The virus spreads rapidly from person to person in communities, making it a global pandemic in the World Health Organization’s rating.
  3. H1N1, formerly known as swine flu, is in no way related to pigs.
  4. It is hitting those in the age range of 5 to 18 the hardest.