Are You Asking Your Nanny to Get Vaccinated for H1N1?
The H1N1 virus is allegedly only beginning to wreak its havoc on humans around the world. As the worry sets in, do you feel it is appropriate to ask your nanny to get vaccinated for H1N1? In early results from a variety of Internet-based polls on this subject, the results appear to be approximately 50-50. With such a mixed result thus far, what are the facts regarding H1N1?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H1N1 vaccine is recommended for nannies in the following circumstances:
- Nannies of children who are under 6 months of age;
- Nannies of children of any age who have compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions;
- Nannies who are (themselves) 24 years of age or younger; and
- Nannies of any age who have compromised immune systems, chronic health conditions, or who are pregnant.
However, the H1N1 vaccine is in short supply and its distribution is, as yet, somewhat limited.
What can you do to mitigate the risk of H1N1 in your household? Advise your nanny and your children to:
- Wash their hands often and thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds), using soap and water;
- Keep their hands and fingers away from their eyes, noses, and mouths (the most common portals through which germs are introduced into a body);
- Cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze (this may be done using the crooks of their elbows . . . or this may also be done using a tissue, which should be disposed of after a single use);
- Stay home from work/school if they begin to experience flu-like symptoms (this will minimize the risk of spreading the contagion); and
- See a doctor and begin taking a prescribed antiviral medication (e.g., Tamiflu ®) once any member of the household has been exposed to or symptomatic of H1N1.
A variety of “home remedies” also exists, with dubious efficacy. Such home remedies include:
- Leaving unpeeled raw onions around the house (the theory is that onions attract and absorb the H1N1 virus);
- Leaving cloves of garlic around the house (the theory is similar to the onion theory above);
- Placing a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear of each person in your house (the theory is that hydrogen peroxide in your ears will kill the H1N1 virus); and
- Using one or more of a wide variety of nasal sprays, dietary supplements, and other non-prescription items sold without FDA oversight.
Are you asking your nanny to get vaccinated?