Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pandemic Preparations

Every 16 to 25 years, there is a pandemic that kills millions of people.  Most do not realize that we are currently in the middle of one of the largest pandemics in modern history.  That is the AIDS or HIV virus which has killed over 37 million people.  We don't realize this, because it kills slowly over 5 to 10 years rather than causing the victim to bleed out on the floor in a few days. But that is what makes a virus like this more dangerous.  The victims do not realize they have this virus for years and can transmit it to others for many more years.

You can prepare for a pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza (virus) pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.

Plan for a Pandemic
  • Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins, especially vitamin C. Lysol mouthwash is also good to have and use regularly.
  • Have disinfectants like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, Lysol, disinfecting hand cleaners, wipes and soaps. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and handles regularly.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
  • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic 
 

During a Pandemic
  • Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.  Quarantine new retreat arrivals for 7 days.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For more information

Blog Table of Contents

Printable Materials for Promoting Good Health Habits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Cover Your Cough
Be a Germ Stopper: Healthy Habits Keep You Well
Flu Prevention Toolkit: Real People. Real Solutions
Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School
Flu.gov
U.S Department of Health and Human Service
American Red Cross
Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Influenza/Flu
Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Recent Outbreaks
WHO Pandemic preparedness