Friday, March 19, 2010

Simple behaviors can limit the spread of H1N1 flu, study finds

Simple, common-sense behaviors — such as discussing how to prevent influenza at home, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands often — can help reduce the risk of family members passing the virus on to one another, a new study finds.

For the study, published in the April 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers surveyed household members of ill students from the New York City high school where the H1N1 flu outbreak was first documented in April 2009. In households where discussions of flu prevention and transmisson were held, H1N1 virus transmission was reduced by 40 percent.

Study researchers, who were with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the finding could be especially relevant in the event of a pandemic where a vaccine is not readily available.

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