The H1N1 virus has spread worldwide (become a pandemic). As it is a new type of flu virus and most people do not have resistance to it, it has spread rapidly. If you are planning a travel or going for a holiday - getting infected with flu could affect your travel plans.
Steps to follow to keep yourself and others healthy during flu season: Some tips that can reduce your risk of getting infected with flu or spreading flu on your trip are:
- Get vaccinated: Get vaccinated with seasonal flu and H1N1 flu (when vaccines are available) as it is the best way to protect against the flu.
- Make a travel health kit: Make a travel health kit that has things (such as tissues, pain or fever medicine, thermometer, facemasks, soap, and an alcohol-based hand rub) which you may need if you become sick with flu while on travel.
- Travel only if you are well: Before starting your travel monitor your health for how you are feeling, signs of fever, and other symptoms of the flu. If you have symptoms of flu like illness, avoid traveling at least for 24 hours after your fever resolves (i.e there are no signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications).
Everyday steps for health: Some simple steps to keep yourself and others well;
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. 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, pillows 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. If you do not have tissue sneeze into your sleeve.
- Remember not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth as infection spreads this way.
- Do not go near a person with flu like illness.
Besides vaccination, consult your doctor regarding the need to carry antiviral drugs for H1N1 infection. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs if you are at high risk of complications from H1N1 infection or if you are travelling to a place where appropriate medical care may not be available.
It is important that you know the signs and symptoms of swine flu. Symptoms of swine flu include:
- fever or high temperature (over 38°C/100.4°F)
- extreme tiredness,
- cold or runny nose,
- sore throat,
- shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- decrease in appetite,
- aching muscles (myalgia),
- Stomach upset such as diarrhea or vomiting.
If you have fever or high temperature (over 38°C/100.4°F) and two or more of the symptoms mentioned above you may have swine flu. Consult a doctor immediately if you have flu like illness.
Health Screenings at Airports
- Due to the outburst of HINI (Swine flu) flu in India and many other countries at rapid speed, different countries are likely to check the health status of arriving passengers. Travelers from India arriving in different countries are certain to be checked for fever and other related symptoms of swine flu. Subsequently their travel may be delayed.
When one travels internationally from India, officials at airport in other countries are likely to:
- Go through a scanning device which will check for your temperature. The device would look like an airport metal detector or would be a handheld device.
- Check your temperature with an oral or an ear thermometer.
- Fill a sheet of questions pertaining to your health.
- Gather information about the symptoms of HINI flu.
Read more articles on Swine Flu (H1N1) Prevention