The 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu) pandemic has officially ended as of August 10, 2010, but the virus hasn’t gone away. The World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that the H1N1 flu virus is circulating along with this year’s seasonal flu viruses and may still cause serious disease—particularly among younger age groups and others at high risk during the post-pandemic period.
The H1N1 flu virus was first detected in April 2009 in the United States and Mexico. It spread from person to person all over the world, in much the same way that seasonal flu spreads. The virus moved very quickly and WHO declared an H1N1 global pandemic in June 2009.
Protect yourself against flu
This season’s flu vaccine will protect you against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu and two other strains in one shot. A new high-dose flu shot will be available for people ages 65 and older. It contains the same three flu strains and is made the same way as the regular vaccine but with large doses of each to help build more antibodies against the flu. Get the facts on
Contact your nearest VA health care facility to learn more about vaccine availability.
Do you have the flu?
How do you know if you have the flu? When is it best to stay home, call an advice nurse or your health care provider, or go for medical help?
- Take VA's easy and useful flu self assessment.
- Download a flu self assessment flowchart. (573 KB, PDF)
These tools are intended for Veterans and their caregivers to provide information only. They should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a health care professional. Privacy is protected because the self-assessment tool does not capture identifiable information.
What can I do to help prevent infection?
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Use a disposable tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, and throw it away.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and limit your contact with others.
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