Fears about the H1N1 virus have inspired organizations such as the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to issue guidelines and directives for swine flu cleaning procedures.
Whether or not the Santa you and your children will visit this holiday season has been vaccinated against the H1N1 virus, there are many easy steps you can take to stay safe and still get that priceless picture on Santa's lap.
It wouldn't be a very merry Christmas if Santa and H1N1 were to mix, but fortunately by understanding what this virus is and how to safeguard against it, you can enjoy all the spirit of the season in a happy, healthy way.
While this may sound severe, it is important to mention that the mortality rate of H1N1 is lower than that of seasonal flu, and if proper precautions are taken there is no need for panic about this disease.
Like all influenza strains, H1N1 spreads through direct human contact, including through sneezes and coughs as well as picking up the virus from infected surfaces and then touching your nose or mouth.
Declared a global pandemic in 2009, H1N1 cases have been noted in more than 205 countries, totaling more than 620,000 verified cases and leading to more than 8,000 deaths.
According to MSNBC.com, approximately 22 million people in the United States received an H1N1 flu shot between early October and the middle of November 2009.
By understanding what the H1N1 virus is and how to minimize your risk, you and your children can visit Santa and H1N1 illness does not have to be a concern.
Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are involved in monitoring the H1N1 vaccine to ensure that it is safe.
Because the H1N1 virus is a new discovery in human cases, the regular vaccines for seasonal flu are ineffective and a special H1N1 vaccine is necessary.