Dear Parents / Guardians,
Greetings from The Millennium Team! Circular No.14-15/TMS/59
The H1N1 Influenza, commonly known as Swine Flu, is a growing concern we share with you. Since its outbreak in May 2009, the school has been monitoring the situation very closely. However, given the present scenario, the school would like share with you all certain basic guidelines that shall help you become more aware and take basic precautions to do your bit to stop the spread of this menace.
What is Swine Flu (Influenza A H1N1)?
To put simply, it’s a Swine-origin influenza A H1N1 virus .It emerged in Mexico in May, then the USA, and, in a matter of weeks, multiple countries in four continents.
How does it spread?
At present, evidence suggests that the main route of human-to-human transmission of the new Influenza A (H1N1) virus is via respiratory droplets, which are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing.
Since the infection did not originate in India, Primary focus was laid on screening individuals entering our country from Swine Flu affected nations. However, in the recent past, we have seen some cases on indigenous spread
How can my child get it?
Any person who is in close contact (approximately 1 meter) with someone who has influenza-like symptoms (fever, sneezing, coughing, running nose, chills, muscle ache etc) is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.
How is it different form the Common Flu?
Symptoms of swine and seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Patients do seem to be reporting diarrhoea and vomiting more often with swine flu than is the case for "normal" flu, but in practice the two forms are probably indistinguishable.
However, a slight difference is noticed during the later stages where H1N1 flu leads to severe Respiratory distress as opposed to the seasonal flu which is of self limiting nature.
· Basic hygiene is imperative
· Proper Respiratory etiquette: Using a tissue while sneezing or coughing.
· Maintain distance of at least 1 meter from any individual with influenza-like symptoms, and: refrain from touching mouth and nose;
· Wear a mask if influenza like symptoms appears.
· Perform hand hygiene frequently, by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand rub/sterilizer.
· reduce as much as possible the time spent in close contact with people who might be ill;
· reduce as much as possible the time spent in crowded settings;
· improve airflow in your living space by opening windows as much as possible
· For individuals with influenza-like symptoms:
· Stay at home if you feel unwell and seek an appointment with you General Physician.
· keep distance from well individuals as much as possible (at least 1 meter);
· Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, with tissues or other suitable materials, to contain respiratory secretions. Dispose of the material immediately after use
Or wash it. Clean hands immediately after contact with respiratory secretions!
improve airflow in your living space by opening windows as much as possible
· Avoid administration of salicylates for fever (aspirin and aspirin containing products) in children and young adults (< 18 years old) due to risk of Reye’s syndrome
· Use of Masks in public places is being advocated.
If masks are worn, proper use and disposal is essential to ensure they are potentially effective and to avoid any increase in risk of transmission associated with the incorrect use of masks.
The following information on correct use of masks should useful:
o Place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask
o While in use, avoid touching the mask
o Whenever you touch a used mask, for example when removing or washing, clean hands by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub
o replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid
o do not re-use single-use masks
o Discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removing.
Suggested areas where a mask can be worn are Hospitals/clinics handling sick patients/ labs, Airports, Schools and railway stations.
Although some alternative barriers to standard medical masks are frequently used (e.g. cloth mask, scarf, paper masks, rags tied over the nose and mouth), there is insufficient information available on their effectiveness.
If such alternative barriers are used, they should only be used once or, in the case of cloth masks, should be cleaned thoroughly between each use (i.e. wash with normal household detergent at normal temperature).
They should be removed immediately after using. Hands should be washed immediately after removal of the mask.
According to the WHO, Routine mask use in public places should be permitted but is not expected to have an impact on disease prevention.
References: The WHO Guidelines, Lancet Journal
Ms. Madhu Tandon Mrs. Rachna Sharma
Principal Academic Coordinator