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H1N1 Influenza Information (previously called Swine Flu)

Content Updated: November 21, 2009

The H1N1 flu vaccine has been released in limited quantities in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is sponsoring several H1N1 vaccine clinics across the state. Please go to www.H1N1inPa.com for more information. The Chester County Health Department also sponsors community H1N1 vaccine clinics. Go to dsf.chesco.org and click on H1N1 information for additional details. Keep in touch with your healthcare provider to determine if and when they expect to receive the vaccine.

The seasonal flu vaccine is available through physician offices, at many local pharmacies and through the Department of Health. However, many places are reporting a lack of or shortage of supply of the seasonal flu vaccine.

The Chester County Hospital is not a public distributor of influenza vaccine.

This new type of influenza, which is different from the seasonal flu we see each year, is occurring across the United States and throughout the world. It is a type of influenza A virus known as novel H1N1.

PRECAUTIONS

What can I do to stay well?

First and most important: wash your hands. Alcohol-based hand gels are also effective. Try to stay in good general health... get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

What can I do to protect myself from H1N1 influenza?

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these steps to protect your health:

  • 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 cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way...moving from a contaminated surface to your hands and then to your face.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them too.

Should I see my healthcare provider?

Please schedule an appointment with your physician if you:

  • Have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Develop pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Experience confusion, altered mental status
  • Have severe or persistent vomiting
  • Start to feel better but symptoms come back with a fever and worse cough
  • Are turning blue from problems breathing
  • Continue to have a fever beyond three days

Last Updated: 12/8/2009