This autumn is particularly scary with the presence of the swine flu, or H1N1 virus.
On Tuesday, a 12-year-old Flour Bluff student died of swine flu after her brain swelled because of the virus, according to Corpus Christi health officials.
News reports last night mentioned another young girl who died in Fort Worth when the swine flu caused a fluid buildup in her lungs, pressing against her heart.
Many students and teachers in our community already have reported classes depleted thanks to many persons suffering from flu-like symptoms – fever, aching, sneezing, etc.
We’ve repeated them more than once in these pages, but one cannot take enough precautions this flu season.
Thanks to WebMD.com, here are some tips to prevent swine flu at work (or at school):
1. Wash hands often – using soap and water and do so for 20 seconds; also, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
2. Cover coughs and sneezes – if you can’t find a tissue, sneeze into your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands; throw away your tissue and wash your hands.
3. Don’t share supplies – keep pens, pencils, mugs and other desk or computer stuff to yourself.
4. Avoid sick co-workers (or classmates) – ideally they’ll stay home; but if they do come, stay six feet away.
5. Wipe down your work area – use disinfecting wipes to clean your keyboard, phone, desk, etc. Keep tissues and alcohol-based sanitizer nearby.
6. Get vaccinated – get your vaccines for seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu when they become available. Check with your local doctor, clinic or pharmacist.
If you get sick, stay at home and avoid others until you’re free of fever for at least 24 hours. Call your doctor if you have symptoms such as fever over 100 degrees F, plus coughing, sore throat, etc.
If people are cautious and will take action immediately if coming down with a cold or flu-like symptoms, chances are good that a tragedy can be avoided.