From parents to principals to the president; it seems like everyone is preparing for the H1N1 virus. Better goes over a few ways to help keep your family safe.
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Audra Lowe: Parents to Principals to the President. It seems like everybody is preparing for the H1N1 virus. So today in Better parenting, Tony talks to some experts about how to keep your family safe. Tony Martinus: Well, it seems like everyday there's more and more information coming out about this virus, and the risk it may pose for our families. So, today we'll try to put together an H1N1 action plan based on practical information and commonsense. It's really not anymore failed than the regular flu as at this point. Step number 1 in the action plan start with accurate Information. H1N1 is not a death sentence. There are some risk factors, though that can put some people at greater risk of complications. Dr. Addison Wilson: The underlying chronic illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, metabolic abnormalities, especially in very young and very old people. The vast majority of people who contract the virus, they're going to have a flu like illness and get through are just fine. Tony Martinus: Step number 2 in the action plan recognize the Symptoms. Dr. Addison Wilson: Now typically the flu symptoms are going to include, fever, muscle aches, headache and respiratory symptoms, sore throat, maybe ear pain and a cough. Tony Martinus: Those with no work, no school symptoms, but not your queue to run to the doctor. Dr. Addison Wilson: It's really not even necessary to go see a doctor unless you're having severe symptoms. Tony Martinus: Of course, the very question is, how do you know if what you're dealing with is H1N1 or the common flu? The symptoms are basically identical, only a lab test can tell you for sure. So, what do you do? Dr. Addison Wilson: Well, you treat them both the same way. You know, the precaution should not be different for either one, it doesn't matter which type of flu they have, they still are weak or are susceptibility to complications. Tony Martinus: Step number 3 in the action plan is Prevention. The H1N1 virus is primarily airborne, when you can, avoid the "Breathing Zone" of those around you. Dr. Addison Wilson: Probably 3 feet to 6 feet, I wouldn't say yes, and if obviously some person is coughing or sneezing that will be closer to 6 feet. Tony Martinus: Be sure to cover your cough. Dr. Addison Wilson: If you need to cover your mouth, don't cover with your hand. It's better to cover with your elbow. It's less likely you come into contact with somebody with your elbow than your hand. Tony Martinus: The final step in the action plan is Treatment. Dr. Addison Wilson: If you want to have either Ibuprofen like Advil or Acetaminophen such as Tylenol, they're able to treat fever and to treat the muscle aches that can occur. If you develop the cough, Counter Cough Syrups are really aren't very effective. Honey and lemon is an excellent alternative, and that's safe for kids down to about 1 year old, getting good rest, avoiding contact with people who are sick, maintaining good nutrition are probably your best weapons. Tony Martinus: And of course there is the hand washing. Dr. Addison Wilson: Wash hands often and well. Tony Martinus: This H1N1 action plan should sound familiar. Its information we hear all the time. But that's really not enough. You can think about it this way, instead of just knowing what to do to prevent and treat the flu, this year we actually need to do it. I'm Tony Martinus. Thanks for watching.