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swine flu transmission

How to Set Up a Swine-Flu Sickroom

With the H1N1 vaccine delays, using social distancing to stop the spread of swine flu is more important than ever.



How to Set Up a Swine-Flu Sickroom

Isolate the swine flu afflicted from the rest of the family. But you can leave the door open.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The current swine flu outbreak is raising some interesting questions regarding the use of social distancing to prevent sickness, not only in public places, but even within your own home. Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn't issued formal guidelines on social distancing for small gatherings or house parties, infectious-disease experts suggest nixing these affairs if someone in the family is sick. "There aren't any published recommendations, but we can make some suggestions based on principals," says William Schaffner, MD, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "The general theme is to try to do things that are reasonable and practical."

THE DETAILS: Nonmedicinal forms of prevention are key right now, particularly because distribution of the swine-flu vaccine is delayed. "The H1N1 vaccine is not out there freely yet," says Dr. Schaffner. "More will come out, but it won't come out in huge truckloads. It will keep dribbling out for awhile."

WHAT IT MEANS: If you or someone in your family is sick with the swine flu, you are hardly alone. At least 2 million people (and that's a conservative estimate) have been infected with swine flu so far in the U.S. The good news is, most people recover in a week or so without taking medicine or experiencing serious complications. But the virus has been shown to pose a greater risk to people with underlying medical conditions like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, pregnant women, young adults, and small children. So it's important to take the illness very seriously and incorporate methods to reduce swine-flu transmission in your home, too.

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Published on: October 22, 2009



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You can't catch swine flu

You can't catch swine flu from eating pork, right? -Kyle Thomas Glasser

h1n1 Sick room

Thanks so much for offering reasonable information.. So much of what is available is about washing hands -- much more needs to be done to lessen the spread. And it begins with social distancing. And school closures. Thank you for being a reasoned voice!

Dark Ages

In the Dark Ages, nobody understood that germs were caused by tiny unseen microorganisms called bacteria and viruses. When someone was isolated, nobody was sure exactly why it prevented transmission of certain illnesses.

Today we're enlightened and educated enough to understand the process. I'm not sure what it is you are complaining about.

Sick Room

I enjoyed the sick room common sense article. I would like to see an article on foods and medications to have on hand in case of,who knows what. Thanks for your help.

good common sense tips - thanks rodale!

great common sense tips on hygiene and how to balance and care for family members who may be sick in your home...and also good tips of how this virus is transmitted so we can take proper precautions. Thanks Rodale!

That is exactly why the H1N1 is spreading

People who think like you are the reason that the virus is spreading like it is. They are too involved in their own schedule and priorities to think about the other people they are around. Please stop being so selfish. Containment and quarantine are the only ways to stop the spread of this virus. Just because you got the shot or are on one of the anti-virals does not mean that it is safe for you to be up and around other people. I don't want what you have! STAY HOME!!! 20-25 years ago people had more sense and realized that they needed to stay home if they were ill. Today we just continue our normal routines and don't want to understand that everytime we sneeze, cough, wipe our noses, rub our eyes, then touch a public doorknob, pen, credit card machine, etc. we are spreading the disease to others. We need to go back to the Dark Ages to get this disease stopped. Think about the impact you are having on others. Stay home if you get sick!!!!

Sick Room

This is a stupid article. What are we back in the Dark Ages.

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