Global Alert and Response (GAR)

What can I do?


30 April 2009


How can I protect myself from influenza A (H1N1)?

Practice general preventive measures for influenza:

  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and have fever and cough.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often.
  • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

How do I care for an ill person at home?

  • Separate the ill person from others, at least 1 meter in distance from others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when caring for the ill person. Either commercial or homemade materials are fine, as long as they are disposed of or cleaned properly after use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after each contact with the ill person.
  • Improve the air flow where the ill person stays. Use doors and windows to take advantage of breezes.
  • Keep the environment clean with readily available household cleaning agents.

If you are living in a country where there are infections follow additional advice from your national and local health authorities.

What should I do if I think I have the illness?

If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat:

  • Stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds.
  • Rest and take plenty of fluids.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing, and dispose of the used tissues properly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Inform family and friends about your illness and try to avoid contact with people.

What should I do if I need medical attention?

  • Contact your doctor or healthcare provider before travelling to a health facility, and report your symptoms. Explain why you think you have influenza A(H1N1) (for example, if you have recently travelled to a country where there is an outbreak in humans). Follow the advice given to you.
  • If it is not possible to contact your healthcare provider in advance, communicate your suspicion of infection as soon as you arrive at the facility.
  • Cover your nose and mouth during travel.
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