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INC Provides Answers to Common Questions about the H1N1 Virus
For the better part of two decades, Independent Nursing Care LLC (INC) has been a main provider of immunizations for people throughout the North East. Every flu season INC provides vaccinations at a wide variety of businesses, schools, and public facilities against the seasonal flu. This year INC will join the fight with the rest of the world in combating the new H1N1 virus.
According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications (1). Independent Nursing Care takes great pride in helping decrease these numbers throughout our region each year. This year the emergence of the H1N1 virus has hospitalized and killed thousands since April 2009.
Many of INC’s clients have brought up concerns about the H1N1 virus in addition to the regular seasonal flu. As healthcare professionals, it becomes our duty to help the public in any way possible to combat this new virus.
What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)?
Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway.
Is H1N1 contagious?
CDC has determined that novel H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.
How severe is illness associated with novel H1N1 flu virus?
Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with the virus have occurred.
The information analyzed by CDC supports the conclusion that the novel H1N1 flu has caused greater disease burden in people younger than 25 years of age
than older people.
If I have a family member at home who is sick with novel H1N1 flu, should I go to work?
Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with novel H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze.
How does novel H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of novel H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu spreads.
How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?
People infected with seasonal and novel H1N1 flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after.
So far, about 2.2 million doses out of the available 2.4 million have be ordered. New York State received a shipment of 68,000 doses of the FluMist variety vaccine (3). Although we do not expect that there will be a shortage of novel H1N1 vaccine, we will be vaccinating the groups recommended to receive the novel H1N1 influenza first.
- Pregnant women
- Household contact and caregivers for children younger than 6 months
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
- Children from 6 months through 18 years of age
- Young adults 19 through 24 years of age
- Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
- All other groups follow
Independent Nursing Care
Independent Nursing Care (INC) has been meeting with New York State, county and local officials to discuss H1N1 plans for this fall. Plans are being developed to distribute H1N1 vaccine as it become available to the region.
When will INC offer H1N1 flu vaccine to employer groups?
When the vaccine arrives to the Western New York region and those in the priority groups have been vaccinated, INC anticipates offer the H1N1 vaccine to employer groups. At this point INC is planning to offer H1N1 vaccine, to our employer groups, sometime in mid-November and continue to offer the vaccine as the availability and demand remain.
If your facility is interested in offering the H1N1 vaccine, please contact us at 1-888-264-5854.
Your health is the most important thing in the world. Please contact Independent Nursing Care for more information. Encourage others to join you in your quest to stay healthy.
1. "Three Steps To Fight The Flu." Flu like syptoms from the CDC. September 24, 2009. CDC, Web. 09 Oct 2009. <www.cdc.gov>.
2. "New York State H1N1 information." New York State Department of Health. October 5, 2009. NYSDOH, Web. 06 Oct 2009. <www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/influenza/h1n1/>.
3. "As first vaccines go out, H1N1 questions answered." H1N1: Fighting Swine Flu. October 7, 2009. CnnHealth.com, Web. 09 Oct 2009. <www.cnn.com/2009/Health/10/06/h1n1.vaccine.questions/index.html>
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