Web site reveals flu myths and facts

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By Special to the Monitor

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday unveiled several new resources on the federal governmentís one-stop resource for flu information at www.flu.gov.

The Web site now features a new H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide for adults 18 and older along with a new Flu Myths and Facts section, which provides the public with the latest and most accurate information about the flu.

  “Flu.gov is a one-stop clearinghouse for the latest news about the flu,” Sebelius said. “These new resources on flu.gov will help individuals get critical information on how to protect themselves and their families from the H1N1 virus. They will also help us to get accurate information out into the public realm so people know what the facts are about the flu.”

The new Flu Myths and Facts section on flu.gov debunks some of the myths about the H1N1 virus and vaccine and provides accurate information on vaccinations, the flu, and public health.

   The H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide at www.flu.gov/evaluation will give individuals 18 and older more information about what they can do to take care of themselves, prevent the spread of the flu to other members of their families, and identify the warning signs of more serious flu symptoms — symptoms that require the attention of a medical professional.

  The information in the H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide is designed for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for a doctor’s advice. It does not capture identifiable information in any manner and is completely anonymous.

Organizations providing public health education, blogs and members of the media can add it to their Web sites.

  “One way that we can help relieve some of the burden on the states and local providers this flu season is by helping people understand what the warning signs are when it comes to the flu,” Sebelius said. “In addition to the Self-Evaluation guide, we have also created some handy one-page information sheets called Flu Essentials that people can share with family, friends and neighbors.” For information, access www.hhs.gov/news.