Monday, September 19, 2011

Business travel while sick: facts you need to know!!

Business travel while sick: facts you need to know!!

  • The highest rates of flu have been among those aged one to four
  • The second-highest rates are among those aged between 15 and 44
  • Most fatalities have been aged between five and 65
  • More than a third of deaths have not been in high-risk groups
Nearly all of those who died had not been immunized. Here is a guide of the different types of flu, how to avoid it, and how to deal with the symptoms if you do catch it.

Severe cases of flu are crippling, chances are that you or a member of your family have suffered from it
  • What is the difference between a cold, flu and swine flu? 
A cold is a mild illness caused by a respiratory virus that generally causes sneezing, a cough, a sore throat and a runny nose. It lasts for a short time and causes no complications. 
Flu is a more serious illness caused by a different group of viruses (the influenza viruses). The symptoms are muscle pain, marked tiredness, sweating, shivering, fever and congestion. Chest complications are common in those with chest or heart disease. Flu can be caused by a number of different influenza viruses and swine flu is one of these. Swine flu causes diarrhea and very high temperatures, more so than other flu. 

If I've had the flu shot, am I covered for swine flu? 

Yes. The seasonal flu vaccine this year contains three strains of influenza virus including swine flu. 

If I've already had flu, is it still worth me having the shot? 

If in a high risk group then it is definitely worth it. It may be you have had flu caused by a different strain of influenza virus and the vaccination can offer you protection from other strains, including swine flu.

Can I be a carrier of the virus without having symptoms? 

We have seen people test positive for swine flu who have shown very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. This means you can infect others without showing any symptoms yourself. This is not really being a carrier  -  we call this a sub-clinical infection. 

Does the flu virus react differently in each of us?

Yes. All infections cause a spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild to severe and it is hard to predict how we will react. As well as background health, factors including how many virus particles the body takes on  -  known as viral load  -  are important. 

What medicine should I take if I have flu?

Healthy adults should take acetaminophen (usually two tablets) every six hours. In addition, you can take 400mg ibuprofen every eight hours. It is safe to take the two together. 

When should we call a doctor? 

Anyone in one of the high risk groups who has not been vaccinated should call the doctor immediately if you suspect swine flu.

What are the red flag signs for calling a doctor if not high risk? 

Red flag signs are breathlessness, a fever that is not going down, or reduced urination. It is important to remember lethargy is normal with flu  -  but drowsiness is not. 

When am I contagious? 

You are most infectious/contagious soon after developing symptoms. You can continue to spread the virus, by sneezing, for up to five days. You become less infectious as symptoms subside, and once symptoms are gone, no longer considered infectious. 

Can flu be carried on/in food? 

There is no research to suggest swine flu can be carried on or in food, including pork products. Contaminated objects can transfer the virus so basic hygiene is important when handling everything, including food. 

How long can flu germs exist on a surface? 

Up to 48 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. Flu viruses survive longer on surfaces than cold viruses. 

Should I be putting my dishwasher on at a higher temperature? 

No. Washing with any detergent and water is enough to remove virus particles. 

And the washing machine? 

Flu viruses cannot survive on clothes for long and washing at normal temperatures is sufficient to remove them. 

Can I transmit it to others via my skin or clothes? 

It does seem to be more contagious than other flu illnesses with more people getting ill from any one contact. Coughing and sneezing creates an aerosol of virus that spreads up to a metre and infection is also possible from contaminated hard surfaces such as door handles rather than clothes. Keep hands clean and there should be no virus to transmit. 

More Travel Tips!
  • Remember, wash your hands after you sneeze or cough!!
  • Always wash your hands after touching the ATM, or when using your credit card
  • Never put your hotel key in your mouth! 


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