Published on 04/30/09

Flu outbreak requires preventative measures

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an outbreak of H1N1 influenza, otherwise called swine flu, continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Confirmed cases have resulted in a number of hospitalizations and one reported death in the U.S.

Internationally, the situation is serious. The World Health Organization elevated the Pandemic Influenza Alert to Phase 5, which indicates there is now widespread human-to-human transmission of the swine flu.

Preventing the spread of any type of influenza requires a little caution and care, according to Cooperative Extension experts with the Extension Disaster Education Network.

To stay healthy or to limit the flu’s spread, remember to:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. For more information, visit the Extension Disaster Education Network

    Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.