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Flu Information and Resource Guide


Influenza Viruses 

Influenza viruses circulate and cause illness in persons each year, usually during winter and spring months (seasonal flu).  These viruses can change and combine with animal influenza strains (bird or swine flu), resulting in a flu strain that has not been identified before.  New flu strains can cause widespread illness in humans because most people will not have immunity to it.  When a novel or new flu virus affects humans, illness can spread rapidly around the world (pandemic flu). 

This page is an information resource about the newly isolated H1N1 virus, and how you can help protect yourself and others.   
It is not meant as a replacement for medical consultation.

Click here for flu surveillance update and charts

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 Novel H1N1 Flu 
Novel H1N1 flu (initially called swine flu) is a new virus currently causing illness in people in all 50 states and in many countries around the world.  It contains a previously unknown combination of genetic material from swine, avian and human influenza viruses.

The virus was first detected in April 2009 in persons in the United States, Mexico and Canada.  The virus has spread from person to person through the coughs and sneezes of infected people; similar to how the seasonal flu spreads.  Ill persons can be contagious from one day before they become ill, to 7 days after illness starts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect that illness with this flu virus may continue for some time.  As a result, you or people around you may become ill.  If so, you need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.


Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Dept (CHCHD):

Novel H1N1 Flu Fact Sheet 

Hoja de Información sobre la Nueva Gripe H1N1

What to Do if You Get Flu

Que Hacer Si Tiene Síntomas Parecidos a los de la Gripe

Employer Leave Policy Template

 Symptoms of Novel H1N1 Flu  
The symptoms are similar to that of regular seasonal flu and include fever, coughing, sore throat, lethargy, headache, and lack of appetite.  Other symptoms have included runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 

It may not be possible to tell whether illness with the flu is from seasonal flu or from novel H1N1 flu, but the flu prevention tips (given below) are the same for both.

TN Dept of Health:

Information for Schools

Health Care Providers


 Flu Prevention  

  • Practice good hand hygiene:
    wash hands frequently throughout the day. Soap, water and scrub for 15-20 seconds!
  • Use alcohol based hand wipes or gel hand sanitizer whenever soap and water aren't available for hand washing.
  • Remind your children about good hand hygiene as well.
  • Cover your coughs/sneezes with either a tissue that you throw away after using, or cough/sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth): germs are on surfaces people touch and then end up transmitted by that person touching their face before washing their hands.
  • If you are sick stay home from work, school, or errands until you are well, unless you are going for medical care.  This will help protect others from getting sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
  • If you are a working parent and have children in day care or school, make a plan for different child care options if your child's school or daycare were to close.

TN Dept of Education:

Information for Schools (K-12)

CDC Flu Information for:

Child Care Programs

Child Care Communication Toolkit

School Information (K-12)

Colleges and Universities

Businesses and Employers

 Guidance for Ill Persons 

  •  Avoid contact with others as much as possible, even your own family.
  • Ill persons should stay home from work, school and day care at least 24 hours after fever is gone (without the aid of fever-reducing medicines), or longer if other significant symptoms are present.
  • If you need to seek medical care, wear a face mask if possible; and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Consult with your medical provider if you are severely ill or have other underlying medical conditions.  


CHCHD Press Releases:

News and Press Releases

 Treatment for Novel H1N1 Flu 
It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care.  Persons with severe illness or who are at increased risk of influenza complications should contact their medical provider or seek medical care.  There are antiviral medications available that can be prescribed for those that require them.  Not everyone who becomes ill will need this medication.

A vaccine for the novel H1N1 has been developed and is available this fall in both the FluMist and Injectable forms.
 Public Health Actions 
A Public Health Emergency was declared for the United States on April 26, 2009 by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, due to the rising number of novel H1N1 influenza cases being confirmed in the United States and around the world.

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department engages in tracking of influenza illness on a routine basis year round.  Medical providers in the community report the number of patients that are seen each week with flu-like illness.  This data is monitored for unusual increases in disease, and for the identification of the virus strains that are circulating in communities.

In addition, the health department is providing disease prevention information to the community to promote health habits that will assist in preventing spread of illness within our community. 

Wash your hands with soap and clean running water. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.Stay home if possible when you are sick. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.Keep your sick kids home from school. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.
Updated February 26, 2009 9:10 am EST

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