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Talking Points


									For more information, visit September 1, 2009

Novel H1N1 Message Points
General Population
      One third to one fourth of people who live in Arizona could be sick with the Novel H1N1 flu this season. People with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or obesity, and pregnant women are at higher risk for serious complications from the Novel H1N1 flu. This new influenza may be similar to the seasonal flu for the general population, but for those with underlying health conditions, it can be life threatening. People with those types of conditions should watch carefully for the first signs of the flu – spiking fever and body aches or sore throat. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor during regularly scheduled visits. These simple measures can prevent the spread of the flu:  Cough/sneeze into your sleeve or tissue – not your hands  Wash your hands frequently  Get rest  Keep your hands away from your face Flu virus can live on surfaces for 2-8 hours. Wipe surfaces with antiseptic cleaner frequently throughout the day.


   Sick family members, especially children, should remain home until they are fever free, at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medications. Working parents should create a plan about how they will manage caring for sick children. Parents should teach kids good hygiene:  Cough/sneeze into your sleeve or tissue – NOT your hands  Wash your hands  Get rest  Keep your hands away from your face

9/1/09 Talking Points

Seeking Healthcare
  If you are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, contact your primary care doctor first before visiting a hospital emergency room. At first signs of flu, stay home, drink plenty of fluids and make sure you have a friend or loved one checking on you.

Visiting a Hospital
    Do not visit a hospital if you have signs of possible flu (runny nose, cough, fever, etc.). This is to protect hospitalized patients, who are typically weaker and possibly more susceptible to viruses. Many hospitals are restricting visitors during the influenza season in order to protect patients from possible exposure to the illness. Because children tend to be the main carriers of flu, some hospitals are not allowing children ages 12 and under to visit patient care areas. If you are visiting a hospital, check its influenza season visitor policy online or by calling the facility.

  Vaccine works best to stop the spread of flu because when everyone gets vaccinated, germs have no where to go. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP recommend the Novel H1N1 vaccine focus on 5 populations: o pregnant women, o people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, o healthcare and emergency services personnel, o individuals 6 months to 24 years of age, and o people age 25 to 64 years who are at increased risk from Novel H1N1 because of chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. Novel H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive in Arizona in mid October. It is not yet known if you will need one dose or two of the new H1N1 vaccine – clinical trial info has not yet been released. There is no reason to believe that the Novel H1N1 vaccine will affect people any differently than the seasonal flu vaccine. Seasonal flu vaccine is now available throughout the state. ________ County is working with the school districts to plan mass immunizations in the schools. Contact your school for more information.

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9/1/09 Talking Points

Pregnant Women
     The Novel H1N1 is causing severe complications for pregnant women. It is strongly recommended that pregnant women get both the Novel H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. At the first signs of flu, pregnant women should call their healthcare provider; treatment options are available. Women can safely breastfeed if they become ill with the flu, but should consider wearing a surgical mask to avoid spreading the illness to the infant. A vaccinated, pregnant woman can extend protection to her unborn child from birth to 6 months.

 Data suggests that seniors over age 65 have some immunity to the Novel H1N1 virus. Therefore, some counties/jurisdictions may not focus efforts on vaccinating healthy individuals in this group. Seniors should get the seasonal flu vaccine per the CDC.


 Businesses should plan for absenteeism rates of 25 – 30 percent. Employees may be out sick or may need to stay home to care for family members. It is important for businesses to look at their policies related to absenteeism and telecommuting. It is important to cross train employees to fill co-workers roles and responsibilities. Employees who cannot miss work should have individual plans to care for sick kids. Flu virus can live on surfaces such as phones and keyboards for 2-8 hours.

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