Q&A's: Influenza A (H1N1 virus)

The development of influenza A is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic, which has raised the alert level of health level 6, the maximum. In Argentina, there are already more than 1,000 people infected, yet the epidemic is receding.
The following is a series of answers to frequently asked questions on influenza A:

1) What can I do to protect myself from catching influenza A (H1N1)?
The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and taking the following measures:

• Avoid touching your mouth and nose;
• Clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
• Avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
• Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
• Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
• Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

2) How long does the virus live in a flat surface or handle?
Up to 10 hours.

3) How useful is the alcohol to clean your hands?
Very, it backs off the virus and kills him.

4) How can I avoid infection?
Do not take your hands to the face, eyes, nose and mouth. Not to be with sick people. Wash your hands more than 10 times a day.

5) What is the way the virus enters the body?
Contact by shaking hands or kissing on the cheek and the nose, mouth and eyes.

6) Is the virus lethal?
No, it is not. What causes death is the complication of the disease caused by the virus, which is pneumonia. But the virus itself it is not lethal

7) Where is the virus in the environment?
When a person who sneezes or coughs carrier, the virus may remain smooth surfaces such as door handles, money, paper, documents, provided there is moisture.

8) If I go to a particular hospital, should they charge me for the medicine?
No, there is an agreement not to collect because the government is providing all government and private health facilities with the correspondent drugs.

9) Is it useful to cover the mouth with a mask?
If you are healthy is counterproductive, because the virus by its size crosses it through as if it didn't exist. Using the mask creates a moist microclimate within the area of the nose and mouth which is conducive to viral development: but if you are already infected, use it to avoid infecting others.

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