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Flu and H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) Information Center


H1N1 Influenza Prevention

HIN1 influenza (swine flu) virus remains active throughout the U.S. and its prevalence is expected to increase during the fall flu season.  Signs  and symptoms  of  H1N1 infection include fever, runny nose,  cough,  sore  throat  and  body  aches.  There may also  be  vomiting  or  diarrhea.  


This illness  is  caused  by  a  virus  and  can  pass  easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing  or  touching  things  that  are  soiled  with the virus.  Treatment for most people includes fluids and rest.  If you have any of the above symptoms, please contact your primary care physician before visiting the hospital for any reason. 


  • The  single  most  important  thing  you  can  do  to  prevent  the  spread  of  flu  is  to  keep  your  hands  clean  by  washing  them  or  using  alcohol-based hand  sanitizer often.


  •  Avoid  touching  your  eyes,  nose  and  mouth  with  your  hands.


  •  At work, clean  phones,  keyboards,  door  knobs,  etc.  with  disinfecting  wipes.


  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, instead of your hands


  • Dispose  of  tissue  in  the  trash


  • Clean  your hands immediately.  


Conventional Flu Season

Influenza activity picks up in the fall every year. But it’s impossible to predict exactly how influenza virus will impact our communities this year, according to Dr. Sarah Haessler, hospital epidemiologist at Baystate Medical Center: “It could follow any number of paths.”


Regardless of the course of the coming flu season, hospital policies for infection control are well thought out and carefully implemented to keep patients, staff and visitors safe from the spread of contagious disease. “We’re ready for any scenario,” says Dr. Haessler.


Dr. Haessler adds that, while it’s important to be aware of the potentially serious complications of infectious diseases like the flu, keeping a level head is equally key. “If you wash your hands often, and use common sense if you’re around someone who is sick, there is no reason to worry or to alter your normal daily activities during flu season.”


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