New advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada means most Nova Scotians will no longer have to stay home for seven days if they contract HINI (human swine influenza). People with HINI should stay home and minimize contact with others until they are: symptom-free, feeling well and able to resume normal day-to-day activities. “This was determined by a national group of experts and the change comes as we learn more about the disease,” said Dr. Maureen Baikie, deputy chief medical officer of health. “The advice around staying home is really a general rule of thumb. It may vary in some settings where people work with vulnerable populations.” The recommendation for health care workers continues to be to stay home for seven days after symptoms begin. “This recommendation is under review but is not expected to change. If people have any concerns, they should consult with their employer,” said Dr. Baikie. The Department of Health Promotion and Protection is updating information for workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, and daycares. Revised documents will be posted at www.gov.ns.ca/hpp by Friday, Aug. 28. Cases of H1N1 continue to be reported in Nova Scotia. There have been 17 hospitalized cases and one death associated with the HINI virus since the outbreak started on April 26. People are reminded that the best way to stay healthy is to take preventative action. That means washing hands thoroughly and often, using an arm to cover coughs and sneezes, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces and items such as doorknobs and counters. It is important for Nova Scotians to understand that it is safe to go to work, participate in community activities and to socialize, if they do not have influenza-like symptoms. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp .
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