TO: Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Coordinator
FROM: Sam Celly, MS JD CSP REA
SUBJECT: Swine Flu
DATE: April 29, 2009
What are the symptoms of Swine Flu?
Cough, Fever/Chills, Sore Throat, Fatigue/Body Aches, and Decreased Appetite
Less common: Runny Nose, Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea.
Is there treatment for swine flu?
YES, Tamiflu and Relenza (both prescription medications) work on this virus but it needs to be started in the first 48 hours of symptoms. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor.
What is swine flu?
It is a lot like our seasonal flu, but it usually only affects pigs. Swine influenza A (H1N1) is affecting humans who have not been exposed to pigs. This suggests there might be human-to-human transmission. The mode of transmission is presumably respiratory droplets.
How do you determine if you have Swine Flu:
Patients seen in emergency room or by physicians with signs and symptoms of respiratory illness are screened for influenza using nasopharyngeal washing. The swine flu is a virus, so special diagnosing equipment is needed and your hospital may take time (1-2 days) to get the results. Special equipment has been flown into California from CDC to hasten the diagnosing process. If the patient test positive for Influenza A, the hospital will implement CDC guidelines by placing the patient in airborne isolation etc.
If I had the flu shot, am I protected?
No. The swine H1N1 is very different from the human H1N1 that is in the flu vaccine. Currently there is no human vaccine available for swine flu.
What You Can Do to Stay Healthy
Hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (minimum concentration of 60% -95% ethanol or isopropanol).
Avoid contact with sick people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as those are direct entry points for viruses.
If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
IF YOU GET SICK WITH THE SWINE FLU: Do not come to work.If the local schools close for reasons of public safety, parents must have a contingency plan regarding care of their children.
Questions? If you have any further questions, call your physician. You can also call the CDC directly at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
Sam has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA & OSHA regulations since 1987. Sam currently is the Chair of the Law Committee of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and was the past-Chair of the Environmental Issues Committee of the AIHA. Sam has a BS & MS in Chemical Engineering followed by a JD from Southwestern University School of Law. Send your comments to email@example.com.