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WHO Frequently Asked Questions about H1N1

In this Section


Is it safe to eat pork and pork products?
Yes. H1N1 influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork (pig meat) or other products derived from pigs. The H1N1 influenza virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F/70°C, corresponding to the general guidance for the preparation of pork and other meat


Is there a human vaccine to protect from H1N1 influenza?
There are no vaccines that contain the current H1N1 influenza virus causing illness in humans. It is not known whether current human seasonal influenza vaccines can provide any protection. Influenza viruses change very quickly. It is important to develop a vaccine against the currently circulating virus strain for it to provide maximum protection to the vaccinated people. This is why WHO needs access to as many viruses as possible in order to select the most appropriate candidate vaccine virus.


How can I protect myself from getting H1N1 influenza from infected people?


To protect yourself, practice general preventive measures for influenza:


  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and have a fever and or cough.


  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly at least 15 seconds.


  • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.


If there is an ill person at home:


  • Try to provide the ill person a separate section in the house. If this is not possible, keep the person at least 6 feet in distance from others.


  • Cover mouth and nose when caring for the ill person.


  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after each contact with the ill person.


  • Try to improve the air flow in the area where the ill person stays. Use doors and windows to take advantage of breezes.


  • Keep the environment clean with readily available household cleaning agents.


What should I do if I think I have H1N1 influenza?

If you feel unwell, and have a high fever (100 degrees or higher), cough and/or sore throat:


  • Stay at home. Do not go to work, school and avoid crowds.


  • Rest and take plenty of fluids.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing and dispose of the used tissues properly.


  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing.


  • Inform family and friends about your illness and seek help for household chores that require contact with other people such as shopping.



If you need medical attention:

  • Contact your doctor or healthcare provider. Before traveling to see them report your symptoms. Explain why you think you may have the H1N1 influenza (for example, if you have recently traveled to a country or city where there is a H1N1 influenza outbreak in humans). Follow the advice given to you for care.

  • If it is not possible to contact your healthcare provider in advance, communicate your suspicion of having H1N1 influenza immediately upon arrival at the healthcare facility.