How does one prevent influenza, specifically H1N1?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a rather timely question.  The prevention of the H1N1 strand of influenza (also called "Swine Flu") is roughly the same method of prevention of most influenza and viruses.  There is nothing radically new in these precautions.  One such action is covering the mouth when coughing, or coughing with a tissue and then disposing of the tissue.  Washing hands with antibacterial soap is another way of killing germs that might contiribute to the spread of viruses.  When washing hands, make sure there is a thorough cleaning of fingernails and underneath fingernails.  Wiping off door handles, phones, computer keyboards, and other communally used items can help to minimise germs that could linger.  In the workplace, maintaining some level of professional distance from other coworkers is not simply good ethos, but can be effective in limiting the opportunity for transmission of viral contagions.  Avoidance of excessive touching of the nose and mouth can also decrease transmission.  Taking vitamins and maintaining good health to minimize stress on the immune system so that it can fend off bacterial infections as well as virus absorption is also essential.  If one is sick with the virus, taking precautions such as not going to work or school is a good way of preventing its spread to others.  While there is no specific cure or vaccination for H1N1, some remedies, such as Tamiflu, have been seen as limiting its growth.  Yet, it seems common acceptance that these "common sense" measures are fairly effective in limiting the spread of this particular strand (as well as most influenza) of virus.