As I work in infection control, allow me to clarify;
H1N1 is a strain of the Influenza A virus BUT unlike the common flu that we see annually, it is considered a pandemic because the same exact strain has been spotted globally. Typically influenza is only concentrated in one particular demographic or region.
Hand Hygiene is most definitely the best way to **help** prevent yourself from contracting H1N1 as well as any other type of virus.
Indeed NOTORIOUS VR is right in saying that "just because you don't wash your hands doesn't mean you are going to get sick" but you are increasing your chances as well as increasing the likelihood of passing on any bacteria/germ/virus that you have on your hand to anyone else that you may come into contact with between washing you hands.
arek; you are not wrong in carrying an antibacterial gel around with you. its always good to take precautions... but its also not healthy to get too bent out of shape about it.
the H1N1 strain is of particular risk to anyone born after 1957. In 1957 a similar strain of H1N1 was circulating and those who were sick during the (smaller scale) spread of the virus are believed to have immunity.
europrince -- the frequency of deaths is far less for H1N1 than the "common" (there is really no such thing, every year there is a different strain, just like you never get the same cold strain twice) flu, yes. But WHO has rated it a pandemic for a reason. Why contribute to the statistics and to spreading the virus if you can take simple precautions to try to avoid it?
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Last edited by Stephanie; 10-06-2009 at 01:51 PM.