Early detection the key in influenza H1N1 treatment

The Department of Health will be notified of any cases, in accordance with procedure, and treatment has proved effective due to early detection and appropriate action.

Medi-Clinic would like to advise members of the community of the following information and guidelines, as published by the Department of Health;
The Influenza A (H1N1) virus is transmitted between humans in the same way as normal seasonal flu, through exposure to droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing. These droplets can be inhaled or contaminate hands or surfaces which in turn could lead to further exposure and spread.

The typical signs are flu-like and include the following: fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose and in some cases – vomiting and diarrhoea.

Importantly, members of the public should be advised to take care and at all times adhere to normal precautions when they experience these symptoms, including staying at home and consulting with a doctor, who will be able to diagnose the illness and treat it appropriately. In order to prevent serious complications, patients should be advised to consult their doctors should their symptoms worsen.

Guidelines published by The National Institute for Communicable Disease (South Africa) on 22 July 2009, recommend that testing for the Influenza A(H1N1) will only be done “if a clinical decision warrants these investigations”. In most mild cases patients will be advised to apply general infection control principles: Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, stay home when unwell, clean hands regularly with soap and water, take medication as prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.

The following have been identified as individuals at high risk for serious complications of Influenza A (H1N1):Persons (adults or children) with underlying medical conditions and who are receiving regular medical care for conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease (including asthma) and cardiac disease (excluding hypertension), chronic renal and hepatic diseases, diabetes mellitus and similar metabolic disorders, individuals who are immunosuppressed (including HIV infected persons and persons on immunosuppressive medications), adults and children who have any condition (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders) that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration; all persons over the age of 65 years; children and adolescents who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye’s syndrome after influenza virus infection; residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities and pregnant women.

Media statement: Medi-Clinic