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The Swine Flu pandemic is still in full swing, despite its recession from newspapers and television. With its outbreak nearly six months behind us, it's all too easy to presume the disease is under control and non-threatening at this point—wrong. Swine Flu, originating from the H1N1 virus, is still a valid threat that shouldn't be ignored due to its disappearance from the media spotlight.
So, now that we've established Swine Flu as a serious threat, what can you do to avoid contracting the virus? Well, the most effective way to avoid contracting any kind of contagious illness is to wash your hands regularly, or use hand sanitizer, and then keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes. Carrying a small, travel-sized container of hand sanitizer can be a great way to ensure you are always prepared.
But for many parents, discreetly applying hand sanitizer after a business meeting isn't the main threat; many times children bring home illnesses that they get from school, where the volume of people per room is much greater.
Pregnant women are especially at risk and are advised to exercise greater caution than usual when working with or being around sick family members, co-workers or their other children. There are medications available that can be used as preventative measures to help insure both pregnant women and their unborn child are safe against infection, however these medications are not to be used as such by the general public. The virus is highly adaptable and if such precautionary treatments were administered to the public, the likelihood that the disease would build up a resistance to the treatment would almost be guaranteed.
Other ways to avoid Swine Flu include not sharing food, eating implements, drinks and toothbrushes. Kissing is also not recommended if you suspect your partner may have flu symptoms. The disease can also be transferred by objects such as keyboards, pens, telephones, etc as it has a lifespan of a few hours on non-living things. Wiping down shared objects with an antibacterial wipe can decrease your risk as well, or simply using your own tools when available decreases such risk as well (i.e. carry your own pen).
By using simple cautionary measures such as washing your hands frequently or carrying a bottle of Purell you can help fight the disease, and at least prevent it from spreading into your home and community. Prevention is key, all it takes is awareness.
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