The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include:
· Fever greater than 100 degrees
· Body aches
· Sore throat
· Respiratory congestion
· In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting
Individuals who experience the above symptoms should contact their health care provider, who will determine whether testing or treatment is needed. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, but there are effective treatments available once the infection is diagnosed.
As with any influenza virus, individuals are encouraged to take the following steps to reduce spread:
· Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of most germs and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to co-workers and friends.
· Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
· Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest and exercise.
It is important to know that the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus is not transmitted by food. You cannot get this virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe.
KDHE has established a phone number for concerned Kansans to call with questions about the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus. The toll-free number is 1-877-427-7317. Operators will be available to answer questions from 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Persons calling will be directed to press “1” on their touch-tone phone to be directed to an operator who can answer questions.
Kansans with questions about the virus can email H1N1fluinfo@kdheks.gov. Information is also available from KDHE at www.kdheks.gov .