Swine Flu and You – How to Protect Yourself and Stay Safe

Travel Safety, Travel Tips — By Amy Widdowson on April 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

As of April 28th, 2009, the US Center for Disease Control has advised all travelers to avoid any non-essential travel to Mexico. For people who must travel to this area, the CDC recommends basic actions anyone can adhere to in order to avoid infection. For the most part, these are ‘common sense’ habits that prevent the spread of many different types of illness.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
Germs travel in the fine-spray liquids emitted when you sneeze or cough. Covering your mouth and nose will limit the spread of these substances. Use a tissue, and promptly dispose of any tissues used. After sneezing or coughing, head to number two…

Wash your hands
We all learned the basics in grade school, and we see the reminder posters in restaurant restrooms. It may seem like common sense, but it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to wash your hands to reduce the spread of disease. Don’t just rinse! Wet your hands, lather and scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds, rinse for ten seconds with warm water and then use a towel to turn off the tap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an effective alternative if you are unable to get to a sink, provided these products are used properly. The Mayo Clinic has a detailed hand washing tutorial, for those who’d  like more information.

Hand washing - fun for the whole family!

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Swine Influenza can live on inanimate objects, and touching these objects can transfer the germs. Your skin serves as a barrier between you and the big bad world outside – don’t breach that barrier and possibly introduce germs into your system.

Avoid close contact with those who are sick
This may seem extreme, but avoiding handshakes, hugs, and kisses on the cheek may reduce infection. The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article about what Mexican officials are doing to reduce the spread of illness.

If you are sick, STAY HOME
If you are sick, any contact you have with other travelers may increase the rate of infection. If you feel ill, don’t risk it. Stay in your hotel room and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Web MD has a comprehensive list of swine flu symptoms.

Take care of yourself
An all-night tequila bender is not going to help your immune system. Get lots of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, stay active and eat well – you know, all those habits you were supposed to be diligently adhering to anyways.
We at NileGuide wish everyone good health and safe travels.

Pig photo by arvingrover / Creative Commons

Hand wash photo by gabyu / Creative Commons

Tags: CDC, Flu Prevention, Health and Wellness, Swine Flu

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