Friday, May 1, 2009

Circle CA and "swine flu"

Recently there has been growing media attention and concern around the possibility of a H1N1 (“swine flu”) pandemic. We would like to address how this might affect you as a patient at Circle Community Acupuncture.

At Circle CA, we have always had a policy of treating anyone with common cold / flu symptoms, and following basic procedures to reduce the risk to others in the clinic (changing sheets, washing hands and using sanitizers, cleaning with antiseptic wipes.) We will continue to take the same precautions, and offer treatments to those who need them with one basic modification. If you are a patient with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, AND have a severe cough that is hard to control, we will ask you to post-pone coming into Circle CA until these symptoms start to show some improvement. If your symptoms become severe, please consult with an M.D. When you come in for a treatment, if you continue to have an uncontrollable expressive cough, we might ask you to wear a surgical mask out of consideration for others in the room.

We would like to ask everyone to avoid reacting with panic to the recent news coverage of the spread of H1N1 flu. At the time of writing this, only 14 cases have been confirmed in the entire State of California resulting in zero deaths. In the United States people who have contracted H1N1 have had mild symptoms with very few hospitalizations. 

The following is from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (

How to Protect Yourself
First and most important: wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol.

There is currently no need to avoid general public gatherings, public transit or school, or for healthy persons to wear masks.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Droplets from a cough or sneeze move up to 6 feet through the air. Some viruses can live up to 24 hours or longer on surfaces such as counters, tables, and door handles. Frequent hand washing will help kill swine flu virus.

If You are Sick or Think You May Have Swine Flu
In the USA swine flu cases have had mild disease, very similar to regular seasonal flu. 

 People who are mildly sick should stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and treat their symptoms with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). People with mild disease do not need to see the doctor or get swine flu testing. See our Flu Home Care Guide [English] [Spanish] for more information. 

If you have difficulty breathing, dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea, a fever that remains >101 after taking acetaminophen, or are severely ill, you should seek medical care. Please call the doctor's office before going there, so that they can make arrangements for your arrival.

As a courtesy to others, if you are sick you should wash your hands frequently and consider wearing a surgical mask to help avoid spreading your flu viruses to other people.

Lastly, we at Circle CA would recommend one last bit of advice for protecting yourself… keep informed! Below are some helpful links for information:

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