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H1N1 Flu Update

Salinas Valley Memorial is committed to the health and safety of our community. During the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to protect our patients, visitors and staff. By following these guidelines, you can help us provide the best possible care to those who need it.

H1N1 Flu Season- Healing Zone guidelines.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is closely monitoring human cases of H1N1 influenza A virus infection. Below are tips from the CDC about staying healthy and avoiding infection. For more information, visit the CDC website and the California Department of Public Health website.

SVMHS Visitor Policy

Due to the severity of this flu season, Salinas Valley Memorial is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our community. By following these guidelines, you can help us provide the best possible care to those who need it:

  • For people in isolation, only two dedicated visitors are allowed per stay
  • No visitors under the age of 14

About the Flu

The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible, including avoiding travel and not going to work or school, for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Preventing the Flu

As in any flu season, good respiratory etiquette is important in preventing the spread of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you: 

  • 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 are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

About the H1N1 Vaccine

The H1N1 vaccine is made the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. It is expected to be as safe and effective as the seasonal flu vaccine but will not present seasonal flu. The vaccine is being produced in both an injectable form and a nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the following groups receive the vaccine first:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months
  • Healthcare and emergency medical personnel
  • Anyone from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Anyone from 25 through 64 years of age with certain chronic medical conditions or a weakened immune system

Once more of the vaccine becomes available, the following groups should also be vaccinated:

  • Healthy 25 through 64 year olds
  • Adults 65 years and older

Please note that children through 9 years of age should receive two doses, about a month apart. People 10 years of age or older will only need one dose.People who have a severe (life-threatening) allergy to eggs or any other substance contained in the vaccine should not receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. Please inform the person vaccinating you if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after receiving a dose of the seasonal flu vaccine or if you have Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Some people may experience the following symptoms: soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given and headache, muscle ache, fever or nausea may also occur. If these problems occur, they usually will begin soon after receiving the shot and last approximately 1-2 days. If severe reactions occur, please consult your physician or seek emergency medical care.

When to Seek Emergency Care

It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care. However, if you experience any of the following warning signs, seek help right away.

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomenSudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

If you are experiencing flu symptoms such as coughing, high fever, sore throat, please make an appointment to see your physician, or visit an urgent care clinic. The hospital Emergency Department should be used only in cases of serious illness or injury.

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