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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pandemic Defenses

Original Article

If there really and truly is a pandemic outbreak of the flu, there are a few things you need to have on hand.

~ disposable gloves

~ N95 masks

~ disinfectant

~ cold/flu meds

~ quality tissue

~ fever reducer (never give children with a fever aspirin)

~ water, vitamin C drink

~ duct tape

~ clear plastic

~ garbage bags

I think you should see a few movies to understand pandemics better.  I Am Legend, Outbreak, 28 days, Contagion

There are  always going to be folks who get the flu.  What's up with FLU shots?  I'll be honest originally I was on the fence about flu shots. After some research I discovered the flu vaccine (shot/nasal mist) is engineered every year based on some very intelligent doctors predictions of what the top 3 flus will be for the season.  One vaccine to cover three different strains of the flu I like those odds.  So all of us are getting our flu vaccines and there's a bunch of us. I think you should too. If it can keep us from getting sick, or make it easier to deal with if we do come down with it then I think it's important to hedge our bets and get the flu shot/nasal mist.

While. the flu is typically associated with cold weather,  this has nothing to do with the outside temp but everything to do with more folks being indoors, in closer quarters.  Likewise we see a spike in the flu September/October through March/April.. However, this doesn't mean you can't get the flu in June.

You are contagious to others a day before you are showing symptoms and five to seven days after you have the flu. Let's think about that, it means you don't know who may or may not be contagious at any given time.  SO wouldn't it make sense to always take precautions?  Wash you hands, cough into the crook of your arm, if you have a fever stay home, don't share pens/pencils, don't put things in you mouth! There's lots of ways to keep the germs at bay but hand washing is the number one thing!  Good ol' soap and water!

Because we have a houseful of folks, I find myself wiping down light switches during cold season.  Anyone that is using tissues, they are responsible for getting them into a trash can or flushed!  Washing dishes? Put on gloves before you pickup the dirty dishes and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

A can or two of disinfectant spray might not be such a bad thing.  What's really important, CDC says "social distance"  meaning if you're sick stay home, if you're in a social setting and others are sick , go home.  No need to expose yourself or others.  Stay healthy, eat well, exercise, and get plenty of rest this will help keep your immune system bolstered, especially during the flu season.

Clean up behind yourself and others.  Caretakers need to be more careful than others to keep themselves healthy.

Seasonal Flu

  1. Outbreaks follow predictable seasonal patterns; occurs annually, usually in winter, in temperate climates.
  2. Usually some immunity built up from previous exposure.
  3. Healthy adults usually not at risk for serious complications; the very young, the elderly, and those with certain underlying health conditions at increased risk for serious complications.
  4. Health systems can usually meet public and patient needs.
  5. Vaccine developed based on known flu strains and available for annual flu season.
  6. Adequate supplies of antivirals are usually available.
  7. Average US deaths=approximately 23,600 per year.
  8. Symptoms: fever, cough, runny nose, muscle pain. Deaths often caused by complications, such as pneumonia.
  9. Generally causes modest impact on society (eg, some school closings, people who are sick advised to stay home).
  10. Manageable impact on domestic and world economy.
 Pandemic Flu ~ it really is different and here's some hallmarks of a pandemic FLU

  1. Occurs rarely (three times in the 20th century).
  2. No previous exposure; little or no preexisting immunity.
  3. Healthy people may be at increased risk for serious complications.
  4. Health systems may be overwhelmed.
  5. Vaccine probably would not be available in the early stages of a pandemic.
  6. Effective antivirals may be in limited supply.
  7. Number of deaths could be quite high (eg, US 1918 death toll was approximately 675,000).
  8. Symptoms may be more severe and complications more frequent.
  9. May cause major impact on society (eg, widespread restrictions on travel, closing of schools and businesses, cancellation of large public gatherings).
  10. Potential for severe impact on domestic and world economy. 

1 comment:

  1. Right on! I read this article expecting to find some mistakes or poor advice that is so common today when it comes to diseases and treatments. I had to agree with everything I read. Good job.