H1N1 Information Line
Hilton Head Hospital has been closely monitoring the H1N flu outbreak in the United States, as we take the health and safety of our community, patients and employees very seriously.
We have stringent processes in place to manage the outbreak. If you would like more information about H1N1 flu, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.flu.gov. The CDC’s site includes key facts, number and location of confirmed cases and symptoms. The CDC also lists recommended everyday actions to help people stay healthy:
- 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 sanitizers also are effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
- If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Flu shots, including the new ones developed for H1N1 flu, may help prevent the flu or lessen its severity. The H1N1 vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, caregivers of children under the age of 6 months, everyone between the ages of 6 months and 24 years of age and anyone with health conditions that put them at higher risk. An additional seasonal flu vaccination also may be recommended. You should talk to your physician about what vaccinations you may need.
The main symptoms of H1N1 flu are the same as any other type of viral flu infection – fever (usually over 101° F), chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, head aches and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Most people are able to recover at home. You should get plenty of rest and fluids like water and juices. You can take acetamophen or ibuprofen for fever, body aches and headaches, but be sure you follow directions to ensure you aren’t taking too much. Remember that products containing aspirin should never be given to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms.
Certain antiviral drugs may be prescribed by your doctor, but must be given within the first 24 to 48 hours of symptoms. These medications may prevent the virus from spreading throughout your body.
Hilton Head Hospital now has a special H1N1 Information Line that will provide you with information about the flu including: general information, symptoms, when to seek medical treatment and at-risk groups and vaccinations. The service offers pre-recorded messages along with an option to get a free, confidential physician referral.
To access the H1N1 Information Line, please call 1-800-711-3463.