Genesis Healthcare System is preparing for the H1N1 virus by making sure it eases people’s fears about myths surrounding the illness and gets healthcare workers ready to help those affected by it.
Director of Infection, Dr. Alissa Ackelson, says it has been holding weekly meetings to educate healthcare workers, and it is trying to limit hospital visitations to prevent the H1N1 virus from coming into the hospitals.
She says the best way to tackle the illness is prevention.
“When you have an infection that actually is killing young children and pregnany women, where we don’t have medications that are effective, that we do have something that can prevent it. That’s a vaccine. That’s actually a medical miracle that we have that available, ” says Ackelson.
Akelson says the vaccine is safe, and you cannot contract the H1N1 virus by getting the vaccination, but if you do happen to contract the H1N1 virus, Akelson says the best thing to do is to remove yourself from the public, get lots of rest, and drink plenty of fluids.
“So, the medications we use to treat flu, if you are going to use them, need to be started very early within the first two days of symptoms. A lot of times people don’t seek care early enough for the to be very effective, ” says Ackelson.
Akelson says we have been in a pandemic with the H1N1 virus since the beginning of summer, meaning it’s a world-wide infection, but she says the public is taking the illness seriously.
She says more people are getting their seasonal flu shots this year and she hopes that continues when the H1N1 vaccination becomes available to the public.