Get Tips on Preventing, Treating Swine Flu

Swine flu kit

As the school year quickly approaches, many people are becoming more concerned about the possible spread of swine flu this fall. Find out what you can do to prevent the flu and what treatments you should get if you have it.

Check out the swine flu survival guide and get additional information below.

What You Need for a Flu Outbreak

Source: Consumer Reports

VIDEO: Health experts recommend putting together an emergency kit in case of epidemic.
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Food

Keep a two-week supply of food and water in case you're confined to your home.

Surgical Masks

Surgical masks must have a rating from the Food and Drug Administration of at least N95 to help prevent the spread of the flu. The N95 designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles.

If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death

Masks need to be replaced often and disposed of after use. Kind of like a tissue -- once you use it, it's done.

If you take it off to eat, then you should put a new one on after that.

To safely discard your mask, place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Wash your hands after handling the used mask.

Cough and Cold Medications

Cough and cold medications must contain: chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine.

Chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine are both good for drying up post nasal drip, while oxymetazoline is good for a stuffy nose.

Pseudoephedrine helps to avoid rebound congestion.

Lozenges should have dyclonine, glycerin or honey. Dyclonine can work better than other sore throat treatments; glycerin and honey are good for easing cough.

Medicated lozenges don't work any better than nonmedicated, and medicated have the potential to pose risks to children.

Electrolyte Drinks

Drinks like Gatorade or Powerade help keep you hydrated.

Fever Reducers

Keep fever reducers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen.

Hand Sanitizer

It should have at least 60 percent alcohol to kill viruses when soap and water aren't available.

What You Need For All Emergencies

Food — At least three days' worth of nonperishable, ready-to-eat foods, such as canned goods, dry cereal and peanut butter.

Water — At least one gallon per person per day for three days. Bottled water is best because it can be stored indefinitely at room temperature, if it remains properly sealed and is kept dry and away from direct sunlight.

First-Aid Kit — You can buy a kit or build your own. Include a first-aid manual, antiseptic wipes and antibiotic ointment, bandages, burn ointment, calamine lotion, cold packs, eye-wash solution, gauze, gloves, hydrocortisone cream, scissors, tape, a thermometer, and tweezers. Also include any prescription and over-the-counter medications your family might need.

Antihistamines — For allergic reactions, including diphenhydramine or loratadine.

Pain Relievers — Including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen; Children should not take aspirin, except with a doctor's recommendation.

Stomach and Anti-diarrhea Remedies — Including loperamide and antacids, including Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums and generic versions. Remember that drugs do expire; old drugs should not be used.

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