Q & A on the H1N1 flu
Who is most at risk?
Pregnant women and everyone who has a chronic disease such as asthma,
diabetes or heart disease. About 70 percent of those who have died had
What if I get the H1N1 swine flu?
Without a lab test, you won't know if it's seasonal flu or the H1N1.
Most people get well just by resting, staying hydrated, and taking
medications to reduce fever. Stay home and avoid contact with others
until at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
If you have trouble breathing, have chest or abdominal pain, dizziness,
confusion, persistent vomiting, or if you don't soon get better, see
Should I take an antiviral like Tamiflu?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend taking
them for mild cases. Antivirals are recommended for serious cases and
for those with other medical conditions.
How about the new vaccine?
First, people at high risk will get the two H1N1 flu shots, including
pregnant women, children and adults age six months through 24 years old,
people with medical conditions, health care and emergency medical care
The vaccine should be available now and is safe. It does NOT protect
against regular seasonal flu. Be sure to get your regular flu shot.
How can I protect myself before getting the vaccine?
People who are infected with the virus start spreading it a day before
they develop symptoms, which means the virus could be present almost
anywhere. It is spread through respiratory droplets from a cough or a
sneeze. You can get it by touching something they have touched, then
touching your mouth or nose.
Hand washing is your most powerful preventive. Wash often with soap and
water or a sanitizer.
Should I keep my child home from school if it's going around?
No. Schools will watch kids and staff members for symptoms, isolate them
quickly and send them home. In most cases, schools will remain open.
Exercise is great for your health, but ...
You must eat less to lose weight
In 1980, 47 percent of
Americans claimed they exercised regularly. By 2000, that figure had
grown to 57 percent. Yet the number of overweight and obese people rose
Physical activity is essential for good
health, but it may not be able to melt pounds away. Exercise researchers
at Louisiana State University say when it comes to losing weight, how
much you eat is more important than how much you exercise.
Building muscle makes you stronger, but a pound of muscle burns only
four calories more per day than a pound of fat. If you somehow gained 10
pounds of muscle, you would only be able to eat an extra 40 calories a
Vigorous exercise can also stimulate hunger and
could lead to a self-reward system. If you burn 300 calories at an
exercise machine and reward yourself with donuts on the way home, you
could be gaining weight instead of losing.
researchers believe that frequent, lower-level activities work better
for weight loss than bouts of vigorous exercise. They say it's better to
be active in your life and throughout the day if you can. Take a walk;
it doesn't have to be a fast one. Climb the stairs instead of taking the
elevator. Dance to the music, hit a golf ball, do the laundry or play
with the dog.
People only have a certain amount of
energy to expend in a given day. For it's better to be
active each day rather than do a vigorous routine a couple of times a
A British study compared normally active
children and those in sports with vigorous athletic training and found
the two groups to be equally healthy.
At the end of
the day, it's more about how many calories you take in than how many you
100 calories less=big benefit
It's just a model prediction by the American Journal
of Health Promotion, but it makes sense: 100-calorie reductions in daily
intake would cut about 71.2 million cases of overweight and obesity and
would save $58 billion annually in health care costs.
How to cut 100 calories:
Examples: On a salad, use two tablespoon of light
salad dressing instead of two tablespoons of blue cheese dressing. Eat a
100-calorie pack of microwave popcorn instead of a buttery bowl.