InFLUenza - a clear and present danger in Malaysia...

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Everyone is aware a about this H1N1 swine flu and to date, the virus has claimed nearly 80 lives nationwide. And tho the second wave of influenza A has not attacked Malaysia yet, this does mean that we can take this matter lightly. The virus which is actually a combination of swine, bird and human influenza viruses has a great ability to transmit from human to human even by a slight touch.

Not many of us that actually realize that Influenza virus can kill, regardless of seasonal or pandemic. The viruses are around us and it can mutate or change quite frequently. And we in Malaysia, is no exception. Actually, we do have influenza cases occurring throughout the year, regardless if there is a pandemic or not. Only thing is, we don’t actively look for Influenza cases during “normal situations” and only in a pandemic situation such as now. The reasons for this can be many one of which could be lack of resources to do so. However, what we DO have are counts of cases that seek treatment at out patient departments in Government hospitals for illnesses that “look like” Influenza (known as Influenza Like Illness or ILI)

For your info, even a slight change in the virus is enough for our body not to recognize the virus hence not being able to protect our body against it. Influenza virus does not discriminate and everyone in the this whole wide world can get infected with it. Surprisingly, Children though are very efficient carriers of the viruses. And some studies show that children between the ages of 5 to 9 manifest the highest rates of infection and illness. But worry not as there are steps can be taken to protect yourself and your love ones.

Anyway, thank you Nuffnang for inviting to this "community message" session last week. It has given me better info on how contagious this evil virus can be. Between, I also know how to at least differentiate between these two look alike illnesses - FLU and COLD. :)

InFLUenza will lead to a high fever (39-40°C) which usually is up to 1 or 2 weeks time. It will also cause intense tiredness and weakness, violent headache, muscular pains and severe and painful cough. This is so serious that sometimes can cause life threatening complications as pneumonia and bronchitis and even death may occur.

Hence, preventing and limiting the spread of this contagious virus is a must for everyone of us. There are few basic steps that we should be able to do in order to reduce the risk of catching this virus:

1. Wash your hands frequently! Obviously this is the easiest step to be taken everyday, so no exception to this. :)

2. Cover your cough or sneeze. And please if possible, use tissue paper instead of bare hands.

3. Avoid people who are sick. *Don't expose yourself and don't take risk eyh?*

4. Hands off the face approach. Try hard because well, it is difficult to resist the temptation to touch any part of our face kan? =P

5. Boost up our natural immunity by taking foods that are rich in vitamins, mainly vitamin C. Easiest way is to take a supplement.

5. Get a vaccination ;)

To me, vaccination is the most effective protection against influenza and can at least reduce the risk of being infected by the virus. Even my doctor has advised me to take a shot of this because she considered me as one of those "golongan berisiko - IBU MENGANDUNG" Hihihihi. I shall do it soon at PMC.

Don't worry as the vaccine is safe to be taken especially by those high risk groups; elderly and disable in long term care facilities, people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, very young children and health care workers.

This flu vaccine cannot cause influenza as the vaccine does not contain any live virus. When vaccinated, the body will respond to the vaccine by producing immune response. Normally, it will take up to two weeks for the vaccine to give full protection to the body. But please take not that who ever that is allergic to egg, you cannot be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.

The entire above are just part of what best we can do to prevent H1N1. We ourselves must exercise strict discipline about personal hygiene and put extra care against this killing pandemic.

Community message brought to you by blogger mommies. Hehehehe... :)


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