DALLAS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Heart Association supports National Influenza Vaccination Week, Jan. 10-16, an effort led by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated against H1N1.
Influenza of all types can pose greater dangers for people with heart failure or with any cardiovascular disease. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 ("swine" flu) may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
- The American Heart Association recommends each year that all heart disease patients get flu shots and they should do so by injection - not the live, attenuated vaccine given as a nasal spray. The live vaccine is not approved for use by cardiovascular disease patients.
- There is a vaccine available for H1N1 flu in addition to the vaccine for seasonal flu.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has information about the H1N1 flu, its treatment, who should be vaccinated, and how to keep from spreading it at www.flu.gov.
- There is treatment for the flu, which you can get from your doctor. Antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
- Helpful tips for keeping yourself and others healthy:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
The H1N1 flu is a serious disease. The CDC estimates that between mid-April and November 14, 2009, 47 million people in the United States were infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu, more than 200,000 people were hospitalized, and over 9,800 people died. For more on H1N1 flu and National Influenza Vaccination Week, visit www.flu.gov.
For more from the American Heart Association on influenza and heart disease, visit http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3036290.
SOURCE American Heart Association