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CDC Issues Guidance on Swine Flu for Summer Camps

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Even though H1N1 (Swine Flu) has not been in the headlines much recently, it is still prevalent in many communities and is causing some summer camps to shut down as a result.

As a result of recent outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together an interim guide for camps on the H1N1 virus. The guide is to be used as a way to help reduce the spread of the virus in day, resident and overnight camp settings. The CDC says it may be revised as more information becomes available.

H1N1 is thought to spread in the same way that seasonal influenza viruses spread, mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the virus. People may also become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. It is important for everyone, especially parents to encourage their children to practice good hand hygiene by washing their hands regularly, covering mouths and noses while coughing and sneezing and then washing afterwards.

The symptoms of influenza usually include fever plus at least either cough or sore throat. These symptoms are often referred to as an influenza-like illness. Influenza infection can also lead to additional symptoms like headache, tiredness, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, chills, diarrhea, and vomiting. Like seasonal flu, novel influenza A (H1N1) infection in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe.

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Keep away from other household members as much as possible. This is to keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus further.

More Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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