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H1N1: What Every CNA Should Know

The recent Asian pandemic caused by the type A virus H1N1 or more commonly known swine flu, is still a growing threat. Swine flu is a respiratory disease that originated from pigs. The strain has mutated and has now affected humans. The virus does not respond to most anti-flu vaccines in the market today except for oseltamivir and zenamivir. Having had the required annual anti-flu vaccine is no guarantee that a person exposed to the virus will not be affected. It is imperative that a CNA should know review precautions relating to H1N1.

CNA class include the study of infectious diseases so this information is just for review. Swine flu is not really fatal. A healthy person who has had his annual flu vaccine has really nothing to be worried about. The swine flu though is more serious for young children, pregnant women, and the elderly and to those who have diabetes, lung diseases and heart diseases. What precautions should a CNA know so he or she could impart pertinent information to patients.

Require anti-flu vaccines. A CNA should encourage patients to have their yearly flu vaccine between the months of June to September. As there are two generics that have a limiting effect on H1N1, then these should be the flu vaccine that should be required. To make it easier for the students and staff, the school clinic and therefore its doctor(s) should take care of the vaccination. In big colleges and universities who have tie-ups with hospitals, this should not be a problem. For regular patients, they should check their insurance policies if H1N1 vaccination is included in their policy. If not, they should pay for their own.

Educate the patients, parents and students about Swine flu. There are certain measures that a CNA can impart to others and to lessen the threat and possible contamination of H1N1. Although not necessarily “deadly” H1N1 can spread fast.

The first thing is to always wash your hands. Thought it’s not always possible to wash your hands on the hour by the hour in the bathroom, it would be good for you to bring your own alcohol gel. In this connection, it would be better for public buildings and establishments like hospitals and schools to install automatic alcohol dispensers in strategic places within their premises.

Second, always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough. It would be better to cough or sneeze into your elbow or the crook of your arm. Covering your mouth with a surgical mask does not help unless the surgical mask is an N95.

Third, if you feel feverish and have flu-like symptoms go home and seek medical help. These are some tips that a CNA should know about H1N1.

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