Information for Employees & Their Families
Flu.gov contains checklists and other helpful materials for family and individual planning. As you plan, it is important to think about the challenges that you might face, particularly if a pandemic is severe.
This H1N1 Flu is causing greater disease burden in people younger than 25 years old than older people. At this time, there are few cases and few deaths reported in people older than 64 years old, which is unusual when compared with seasonal flu. However, pregnancy and other previously recognized high risk medical conditions from seasonal influenza appear to be associated with increased risk of complications from this H1N1 Flu. These underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy.
- People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications
- Seasonal and Novel H1N1 Flu: A Guide for Parents
- Resources for Pregnant Women
Based on available evidence and experience from past pandemics, it is likely that the H1N1 Flu virus will continue to cause serious disease in younger age groups, at least in the immediate post-pandemic period. Groups identified during the pandemic as at higher risk of severe or fatal illness will probably remain at heightened risk in this post-pandemic phase, though hopefully the number of such cases will diminish.
In addition, a small proportion of people infected during the pandemic, including young and healthy people, developed a severe form of primary viral pneumonia that is not typically seen during seasonal epidemics and is especially difficult and demanding to treat. It is not known whether this pattern will change during the post-pandemic period, further emphasizing the need for vigilance.
The H1N1 Flu spreads in the same way that regular seasonal flu viruses spread; mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the virus. Therefore, public health officials encourage good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands to help stop the spread of germs and prevent the flu. If you develop influenza-like-illness (symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, chills and aches) do not come into work. In addition, if you have family members who are ill with flu-like illness, have them stay home from work, school and other settings where they would interact with others. Instead, self-isolate at home for 7 days after the onset of illness, or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
To help you determine if your symptoms could be caused by the flu, answer a few short questions on this self-evaluation tool. (Please note that these questions are for your information only and the information should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a healthcare professional.) If you are experiencing influenza-like illness, and wish to seek medical care, contact your health care provider to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician's office, or hospital.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers regarding products related to the H1N1 Flu that are promoted and marketed to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 Flu virus but are not approved, cleared, or authorized by the FDA. Consumers are urged to only purchase FDA-approved products from licensed pharmacies located in the United States, and should contact their health professional if they have any questions or concerns about medical products or personal protective equipment. To help you determine if a product is FDA-approved, click on the FDA Fraudulent H1N1 Products Widget.