Lesson learned from the H1N1 flu outbreak | NevadaAppeal.com

Lesson learned from the H1N1 flu outbreak

Pam Graber
For the Nevada Appeal

Q: What have we learned from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic?

A: We learned a lot of things from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Here are some of the most important ones. If you want more information on any of these topics, you can reference “FluFacts” in the Nevada Appeal Web site archives beginning Oct. 4 or visit http://www.flu.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu.

We learned:

• That vaccination is the No. 1 defense against the flu, and we needed to get two shots this season: seasonal and H1N1. (Next season we’ll only need one vaccination because H1N1 will be included in the seasonal vaccine. Children 9 years and younger receiving flu vaccination for the first time will require two doses.)

• That our government was sufficiently concerned about H1N1 that they provided the vaccine free of charge.

• That H1N1 was exceptionally hard on people under 25, especially pregnant women.

• That providing school-based vaccinations was an excellent way to protect our children, who were among the most affected.

• Since babies under 6 months don’t get flu shots, that it was important to protect these babies by vaccinating their families and caregivers.

• That children 6 months to 9 years needed two vaccinations.

• That sneezes spray really far, so we must sneeze into our elbows, and wash our hands properly and often.

• To stay home if we have flu-like illness, and not to come out until our fever has been gone for a day.

• That while pets can’t give us the flu, we can give it to them.

• That to be 100 percent sure the flu you had was indeed H1N1, it had to have been laboratory confirmed. The rapid tests done in doctors’ offices are not specific enough.

• That conditions like asthma can greatly complicate getting over H1N1.

• About social distancing: avoiding dense crowds and people who appear ill.

• That in our area, flu season lasts until May.

• That there are a couple of antiviral medications that remained effective for people who became very seriously ill with H1N1.

NOTICE

The most recent FluView, week ending Feb. 27 reports flu activity across the nation is similar to the last several weeks – fairly low.

Despite an elevated level of flu-like illness in two regions (ours and the southeast), this weekly article, “FluFacts,” will be replaced beginning Wednesday, March 17, with “Get Healthy Carson City.”

“Get Healthy” will broaden your knowledge and awareness of public health matters, especially those relevant to our town. It will also list public health events and activities in our area. In the event of a third wave of H1N1, “FluFacts” will return in order to keep you informed.

CARSON CITY AREA H1N1 VACCINE CLINICS

There is no charge for H1N1 vaccinations

Where: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long St., Carson City

WHEN: Every Thursday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch

WHAT: Childhood vaccinations

WHERE: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long St., Carson City

WHEN: Tuesdays through March 4-7 p.m. March 16, 23 and 30.

• Pam Graber, Public Information Officer, Carson City Health and Human Services.