Thursday, November 19, 2009

H1N1 - on-line resources

The human brain is hardwired to be visual. I find maps and graphics of great help. Who knew we'd be tracking a pandemic in this day and age?

Google Maps has one of outbreaks. It appears to be Wiki-based, added to by users, and so take it with a grain of salt. They have maps on many other topics, too. At first blush, it appears out-of-date, since they cite Canada as having 53 cases, when, in fact Ontario alone had 79 deaths (according to TV media sources). Can you blame me for being dubious?!

Go to the nearest hospital emergency department or call 911 right away if you or your child has any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath when doing very little or resting
  • Continuous vomiting or severe diarrhea with signs of dehydration such as dry tongue, dry mouth, decreased peeing (no urine for the past 6-8 hours), or very yellow/ orange urine
  • Stiff neck, sensitive to light
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Confusion or disorientation

In Ontario you can phone Telehealth. Or, Ontario's Ministry of Health has created a self-assessment tool to help determine whether you or someone else has signs of H1N1. 

Influenza assessment for children UNDER 5 years of age START

Influenza assessment for adults and children OVER 5 years of age START 

Download printable self-assessment charts for adults and children [PDF]

you are best to work with your provincial or territorial health care system, or contact your family physician, barring that, there are some H1N1 Regional Flu Assessment Centres, like those in Toronto, that are far preferable.

And then, there is helpful Microsoft, who wants to help you self-diagnose. I am leery of such, except that they do say to stay at home if you can manage your symptoms. For those in the USA: 

'Tis an American website, and they state: "This self-assessment is intended for residents of the United States only." You are required to put in your US Postal Code. It is interactive, and they are collecting data from this location. Interesting data, if it can be relied upon.

For More Information in Ontario
For information about seasonal flu, H1N1 and pandemic preparedness call ServiceOntarioINFOline at 1-800-476-9708 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559. In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
TTY: 1-866-797-0007
Hours of operation : 24 hours, 7 days a week

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