Diabetes and Swine Flu
In people with diabetes--- H1N1 flu infection increases the risk of severe illness and serious complications. Diabetes increases the risk of hospitalization and death in patients with H1N1 flu. Flu infection may interfere with blood glucose control as well.
If you have diabetes take the following steps to protect yourself from the flu;
• Consult your doctor to make a plan regarding measures for prevention and treatment of flu.
• People with diabetes > 6 months should be vaccinated ---with H1N1 flu vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine--- as it is the single most effective way to protect yourself against the flu.
• Consult your doctor to discuss regarding-- what should you do if you get a flu-like illness.
• Consult your doctor regarding pneumococcal vaccine. Diabetic patients are more susceptible to influenza, pneumonia and related complications and a vaccine can work as a preventive measure.
• Consult your doctor immediately if you or your child with diabetes, develop symptoms of flu like illness. Take antiviral medications as suggested by your doctor to treat flu.
Everyday steps to protect Yourself and Others: Follow the following steps regularly to protect your and your family’s health;
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is one of the best way to prevent many common infections. If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand gel to clean hands.
• Clean all surfaces (such as door handles, remote control, hand rails and computer keyboards) often to remove the germs
• Use tissues to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Dispose the used tissue in trash as soon as possible.
• Remember not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth as infection spreads this way.
• Ensure that your children follow these advices.
If you have flu like illness --to avoid spreading the infection stay at home from work or school and limit contact with others. Stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves (i.e there are no signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications).
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Sep 12, 2011
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