The Swine Flu has captured the nation’s attention quickly in the past two days. So I thought I’d take a moment and explain the routine steps we take at Mountain Waves Healing Arts to help prevent the spread of bacteria and virus – like the Swine Influenze Virus H1N1.
1. All bodywork therapists wash their hands and forarms with soap and warm water immediately before and after each session. Therapists providing out-call corporate therapy sessions use an alcohol based hand sanitizer in lieu of soap and water.
2. The face cradles of the massage tables are thoroughly wiped with with a disposable sanitizing cloth, or sprayed with an alcohol/tea tree essential oil mixture.
3. Our linens, face cradles and towels are washed and sanitized after each use with extra hot water, detergent and chlorine bleach.
Influenza is a virus that is spread via the water droplets expressed during a cough or sneeze from the infected person and inhaled by another person. Sometimes influenza can be spread by touching somthing that has the flu virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth. The Swine Influenze Virus A is no exception, except that this strain of influenza is very rare in humans and mostly found in pigs – hence the name Swine Flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this virus contains unique strains of genetic material not previously seen in either swine or human influenza viruses. This means that most people won’t have natural antibodies ready made in their bodies to respond to an infection and that conventional human flu vaccinations are likely to be ineffective.
In general, once infected with influenza of any kind, the fundamental treatment is rest, fluids and limited contact with others to avoid spreading the virus. The problems occur with the development of secondary bacterial infections in the lungs that if untreated can lead to pneumonia, respiratory distress and possibly death. That’s why prevention of contacting the flu virus is the most important first step. So what are the things you can do.
First, recognize the symptoms of Swine flu – which are the same a seasonal flu. They include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In some cases, people experience diarrhea and vomiting.
Secondly, practice good hygene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow if you cough or sneeze.
Finally, keep your immune system in top shape by getting plenty of regular sleep, eating nutritious food, getting regular physical activity, drinking plenty of water and keeping your stress levels in check.
While the current spread of the virus may seem to be rapid, it’s not a time to panic. But it is a time to review your personal wellness practices and tune them up so your immune system is in top shape and ready to defend you if the need should arise.
For more information, log into the CDC website by clicking on the link below.