Debunking H1n1 virus myths - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Debunking H1n1 virus myths

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) --  There are a lot of misconceptions about this new strain of flu. Doctors say the symptoms for this new flu are very similar to normal seasonal flu, however, the big difference is doctors don't know how this new virus will behave.

To debunk some of the myths surrounding this new form of flu we went to an expert. Doctor Jeffrey Crandall the Chief Medical Officer at Allen Hospital.

The first question, if you have flu symptoms then you has the H1N1 flu. False.

"We are at the tail end of the seasonal flu so right now in Iowa it's more likely that the person has seasonal flu than the H1N1 flu," said Doctor Crandall.

Eating pork products puts you at risk for an h1n1 flu infection. False.

"This disease is spread by the respiratory root exclusively, you only get it by introducing it to your upper air way either through the nose, mouth, or eyes," Crandall said.

The seasonal flu vaccination will protect you from the outbreak of H1N1. False.

"As far as we know there is no protection that is provided by against the h1n1 by the seasonal flu vaccination which was very effective in helping prevent seasonal flu."        

Young, healthy adults are equally at risk as children and the elderly. True.

"We're trying to identify how this virus is going to behave so as far as we know it will affect healthy adults. I think the elderly and the frail people will be at greater risk on the other hand they maybe at lesser risk of exposure."

You should avoid public events and other locations until the virus is contained. False so far.

"Avoiding crowded events right now in Iowa, I wouldn't hesitate to go to a crowded event but if we have multiple cases of H1N1 flu I wouldn't go unless it was absolutely necessary," Doctor Crandall said.

To put this into perspective, right now in the United States you are two times more likely to win the Powerball jackpot than to die from the H1N1 virus.      

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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