Persons who have received 1st dose of H1N1-2009 vaccine asked to visit family physician for 2nd dose

Persons who have received their first pandemic influenza A (H1N1-2009) vaccine and it has been more than three weeks, are hereby reminded to revisit their family physician for the second dose, the Preventive Health Department (PHD) reports. 

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Influenza A (H1N1-2009) has become endemic among global communities. Persons who form part of the risk group are reminded to consult with their general physician to get the vaccine.

The vaccine helps protect your family and other people who are close to you, as it is less likely that they will catch the virus from you.

The vaccine helps protect you against future waves of infection caused by the H1N1-2009 virus.

Besides vaccination against pandemic influenza A (H1N1-2009), vaccination against seasonal flu remains important. People, who would normally take their yearly seasonal flu shots, should still get their seasonal flu shot.

The H1N1-2009 vaccine is different from the seasonal flu vaccination and does not protect against the so-called swine flu.

Preventing the spread of germs is the single most effective way to slow the spread of the disease.

Members of the community are still strongly advised to maintain high standards of personal hygiene which entail covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after contact with respiratory secretions (e.g., after sneezing and coughing).

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 contact with sick people.

The symptoms of pandemic influenza A (H1N1-2009) flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with the virus.

Persons who have flu-like-illness should remain at home and contact their family physician via telephone who will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

Persons who have traveled in the preceding seven days to affected countries should seek immediate medical attention once they develop influenza-like symptoms. You are advised to stay at home and contact your family physician. This will help minimize the risk of infecting those around them, especially people who are at a higher risk of severe illness and complications of influenza.

Another preventive measure is eating healthy foods, getting a lot of exercise and maintaining an eight hour sleep schedule.