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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Swine Flu

Perhaps we have dodged a bullet this time, it seems that swine flu news has gone off the radar, but I wouldn't let my guard down just yet. Cases are still multiplying here in Maine there are 13 confirmed cases with only six of those being directly related to the person either having vacationed in Mexico or been in contact with someone who has been to Mexico.

Flu season is coming to an end in the US but be prepared next fall for it to come back. If you have holes in your preparations now would be a good time to close the holes. Formulate a plan on how you will deal with a sick person in your home. Do you have a plan if you become sick? Who will care for you?

In our local paper the protocol from the hospital was to call first if you suspect you have the flu. They wanted to minimize exposure of sick people to healthy people or other people sick with other illness which is wise. One person I know that was feeling ill called and was told to stay home and monitor symptoms.

We wrote down our flu plan on paper. I suggest you do the same. We designated and area of our place that will be the quarantine room. We have established a protocol for dealing with the sick person. Everything from when to take temperatures, how to document fluid intake, precautionary measures to take, etc etc etc right down to who will give the care and when to call for emergency assistance.

In the 1918 pandemic it has been said that the use of medications to reduce fever may have caused some deaths. Fever is your bodies attempt at killing a virus. Fever should be monitored closely and not allowed to get out of hand but fever does serve a purpose. That said be prepared to bring a fever down as people, especially children, can take a turn for the worse fairly quick with a high fever. We all know that the use of drugs like Tylenol and Asprin can bring down a fever. Do not give asprin to children. Stock up on tylenol (or generic store brand) and follow dosing instructions.

Fluid loss is another danger of the flu. You can minimize the loss of fluids with a couple simple at home recipes that will replace electrolyte loss. Copy the recipe and keep it with your flu preparedness materials. Make sure you have on hand the ingredients as well.

ELECTROLYTE and FLUID Replacement Recipe
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon "Lite Salt" (by Morton*)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
10 teaspoons table sugar
1 quart or more of water, plus ice if possible.

and from the WHO
1 quart water
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons sugar


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