With the rising cases of swine flu in Malaysia and Singapore, please take note of its signs and symptoms and take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

Signs & symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1)

Just like the seasonal flu, Influenza A (H1N1) infection in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1) infection may include the following:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle pains
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea


See your family doctor if you have any of the above symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following warning signs:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Confusion
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Complications


Influenza A (H1N1) infection can be serious and life threatening. Deaths from pneumonia and respiratory failure have been reported with severe Influenza A (H1N1) infection.

Treatment

There are antiviral medications available to treat and/or prevent Influenza A (H1N1) infection. Anti-viral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (Relenza®) are recommended for the treatment of Influenza A (H1N1) infection. These medications, when taken early in the course of infection (within 2 days of the appearance of symptoms) may:

  • reduce the severity of the infection with faster recovery from the illness.
  • prevent serious flu complications.


Prevention

One of the ways to protect against Influenza A (H1N1) infection is to prevent its spread. Since the illness occurs through direct contact with infectious material and respiratory secretions, it is important to practise good personal hygiene. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

1. Cover Your Nose and Mouth

  • With a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose the tissue properly in the trash after use.


2. Wash Your Hands

  • Regularly and thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Before and after preparing food
  • After going to the toilet
  • Before and after eating
  • After blowing your nose
  • After using your hand when coughing or sneezing.


3. Contain the Spread of Flu

  • Use a serving spoon when sharing food from a common dish.
  • Do not share personal items such as toothbrushes and towels.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If you are sick, avoid crowded areas and wear a surgical mask.
  • Stay at home and do not go to work or school if ill.
  • See your family doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and if you have recently travelled to areas with cases of Influenza A (H1N1) flu.


4. Build Up Your Immunity

  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking. It harms you and your family.
  • Take more fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are the most power-packed combination of nutrients your body needs for good health.
  • Drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of fluid daily.
  • Engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on 5 or more days a week.
  • Learn to relax and rest.


5. Keep Your Environment Clean

  • Do not throw leftover food on the floor or in the open.
  • Do not leave food in common areas for stray animals.
  • Do not spit on the floor and common areas.
  • Throw used masks, tissue or litter into rubbish bins.

Source: Health Promotion Board (Singapore Government)

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