H1N1 (Swine Flu): Masks may do more harm than good


Map_20090706_0900I work in a High Risk environment and to echo what is addressed here, few facts need to be highlighted.

Firstly about HINI Virus.  According to basic biological facts, the virus do not contain any DNA as their basic structure as what human have. Basically the virus contain RNA which having capacity to change itself according to environment. So it has capacity to penetrate to any life environment by adjusting itself. To prevent it to penetrate to our body, our antibody need to be strong enough and having a propensities to counter attack of this virus.

Based on information gathered from Conference on Health, Safety and Environment held recently in Sunway Convention Centre, the government officials have declared in the meeting few measures and information that can be taken to prevent HINI virus from spreading as below:

1) The surgical mask only can stand for 2hrs only. This mean after 2hrs, it is same as you are not wearing mask.
2) Healthy lifestyle where taking more fluid (water or fresh juices), fruits and vegetables.
3) IF you are HINI virus positive, please wear mask if need to go public places. If not please be in ward or quarantine yourself in the separate room until symptom going down.
4) Please don’t be panic.

Try to follow healthy lifestyle and everything will be OK.

Read more on A(H1N1) Swine flu (Influenza) Timeline

The Star Online, Malaysia
Masks may do more harm than good


I saw numerous photos in the newspapers showing people wearing surgical masks at places like shopping malls, schools, mamak  stalls and other public areas. I have even noticed people wearing them out in the open when no one was around.

I would like to explain why wearing masks may do more harm than good.

The A(H1N1) virus is not airborne . To be considered an airborne virus, the microorganism would have to survive or remain in the air for long periods of time. The A(H1N1) virus, like all other influenza viruses, does not stay  in the air for long.

Places like airports, shopping malls, schools and other public areas are filled with germs and bacteria which linger around constantly.

If even a small amount of bacteria gets into a hole in the mask you will be providing breeding ground  for the bacteria, which may lead to an illness or infection.The moisture you produce in your mask is perfect for bacteria and viruses, and may even be a recipe for disaster.

The way to avoid the A(H1N1) virus is to avoid physical contact  with people who may be sick or infected. And, avoiding commonly touched surfaces like escalator railings, poles, public toilet doorknobs etc would be good.

The virus usually spreads when someone touches surfaces with the bacteria and then later on touches his own nose, eyes or mouth soon after that. Washing your hands frequently  or using water and soaps is the best  defense.

Yes, the virus may travel from point A to point B in the air. But it will drop down, not stay airborne, so watch what you touch.

Wearing a mask is good if you do not want to spread your illness to others if you are infected, but does very little to prevent you from getting it if you are healthy.

Know the Difference between Cold and A(H1N1) Flu Symptoms


Cold: Fever is rare with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Cold: A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Cold: Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose
Cold: Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
A(H1N1) Flu : Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Cold: Chills are uncommon with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Cold: Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Cold: Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold: Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
A(H1N1) Flu : The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Cold: A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat
Cold: Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort
Cold: Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
A(H1N1) Flu : Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.