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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


February 5, 2014- DMC Path to Health Campaign Hosts First Community Health Care Insurance Enrollment Event

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) will host a free health care enrollment festival event this month as part of the DMC Path to Health campaign, launched in January. With the launch of the campaign, DMC committed to work with more than 100 Detroit-area local organizations and elected officials to provide Detroiters basic education and assistance with accessing affordable health insurance under the new (federal and state) health care laws.

The event will be held Saturday, February 15 at the Samaritan Center, located at 5555 Conner Street in Detroit. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., local families are invited to join DMC and campaign partners to visit the festival, work with Certified Application Counselors to sign up for health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act and take advantage of a resource fair with a variety of local services.

”This is a great opportunity for families to come down together, enroll in health care insurance for the first time and enjoy the festivities," said Detroit Parent Network CEO Sharlonda Buckman. "This is the first step to getting our community members preventative care and to improve the health of parents and children."

The resource fair will include an opportunity to learn about local organizations and programs such as Children's Center, Enroll America, Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), Detroit Metropolitan Credit Union, and Gleaners Community Food Bank with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. The Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program will be doing food and shopping demonstrations, the American Diabetes Association will offer a diabetes risk test. Primerica Financial Services will have information and enrollment opportunities. Detroit Community Health Connection will also provide screenings with DMC medical staff, such as blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings.  

"With this event, and five more to follow, we are bringing affordable health care insurance and enrollment to our neighborhoods," said Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch, NAACP. "The event provides a one-stop-shop so Detroiters can be educated on their choices and receive hands-on help to sign up." 

Those who attend and work with a counselor to enroll must bring with them proof of citizenship or immigration, status/legal residency (social security number, passport, immigration document status number), state residency (driver’s license or utility bill), income for all family members (W-2 forms, pay stubs, or proof of unemployment) and current health insurance, if any, including policy numbers. All who enroll will also be invited to enjoy music, refreshments, a kids play zone and share their story with other community members.

DMC will host at least six enrollment events in Metro Detroit through the beginning of Summer. For more information, call 1-888-DMC-2500 or visit www.dmc.org/pathtohealth.


WHAT IS H1N1 INFLUENZA?
H1N1 influenza is a respiratory disease that is caused by a type A influenza virus. The current H1N1 virus contains unique genes from pig and human influenza viruses and hence is called the “Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus”. This strain of flu germ spreads from human to human and can cause illness.



Does H1N1 INFLUENZA pose special risks for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of catching H1N1 or seasonal flu. Pregnant patients with H1N1 infection have an increased risk of complications. Although influenza viruses do not infect the baby while in the uterus, the high fever and any complications caused by the flu can potentially be harmful to the baby.



WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN I TAKE TO PROTECT MYSELF AND MY UNBORN BABY?
The best way to protect yourself and your unborn baby is to have a vaccination (which is safe during pregnancy). You should also make sure you follow good hygiene practices including:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to use.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF H1N1 INFLUENZA?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and may include acute onset of:

  • Fever (greater than 100 F or 37.8 C)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.


WILL THE SYMPTOMS BE THE SAME IF I AM PREGNANT?
Yes, the symptoms of flu will be the same as in women who are not pregnant.




WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit contact with others, and call your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Treat any fever right away. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is the best treatment of fever in pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids.
  • Your doctor may test you for flu or will decide if you need medications to treat the flu.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and cleanse your hands.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or alcohol- based hand rub.
  • Do not go to work, school, or other public places while you are ill.
  • Avoid close contact with other people.
  • Get emergency medical care right away if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, purple or blue lips or skin, severe vomiting and are dehydrated and/or dizzy, unresponsive or confused.


IS IT OK TO BREAST FEED MY BABY IF I AM SICK?

  • Do not stop breastfeeding if you are ill. This will help protect your baby from infection.
  • Be careful not to cough or sneeze in the baby’s face, wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor might ask you to wear a mask to keep from spreading this new virus to your baby.
  • If you are too sick to breastfeed, pump and have someone give the expressed milk to your baby.


IS THERE A VACCINE FOR H1N1 INFLUENZA?
Yes, an H1N1 virus vaccine is expected to be available in mid- to late October 2009. The CDC recommends this vaccine for pregnant women when it first becomes available. This vaccine has been tested in pregnant women and found to be safe and effective.


REMEMBER: The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the H1N1 flu, therefore individuals are encouraged to get both types of vaccines.

 

 

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