Flu Protection, Prevention, & Preparation

  • Seasonal Flu is transmitted person to person. Vaccines are available.

    Avian (Bird) Flu occurs naturally among wild birds. The H5N1 variant is deadly to domestic fowl (like chicken and turkeys) and in recent cases has been transmitted  from birds to humans. There is no natural immunity and no human available vaccine.

    Pandemic Flu is a global outbreak of influenza that occurs when a new virus appears that people haven’t been exposed to before. It spreads quickly from person to person.


    Protect:

    • Visit your pediatrition or family doctor for a checkup.
    • Talk about ways to protect yourself from pandemic and seasonal flu.
    • Ask about actions to take at the first sign of flu symptoms.
    • Ask to be notified as soon as seasonal flu vaccines arrive.
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.  Tissues are ideal.  If you don’t have any, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or shoulder.
    • Consider carrying Ziploc baggies for used tissues until you can dispose of them.

    Prepare:

    • Make note of your family’s medical needs.  Have medical histories readily available for all family members.
    • Visit www.pandenmicflu.gov/planguide/checklist.html to print a “Family Emergency Health Information Sheet” and an “Emergency Contacts Form”.
    • Stock your pantry.  The CDC web address above has a list of suggested supplies.
    • Buy bottled water.  The American Red Cross advises at least 2 quarts per person/day.  Children, nursing mothers and those who are ill need even more.
    • Check expiration dates and use first-in, first-out to keep your supplies fresh.

    Prevent:

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water... Suds for up to 20 seconds to be sure the soap does its job!
    • If you have eczema, use hand cream to seal up skin, and keep out viruses and germs.
    • Keep your nose clean!  Your nose is the first line of defense against inhaled viruses and allergens, so help nasal passages work their best.  Use saline nasal sprays.
    • Wash or spray your telephone, keyboards and mouse with a disinfectant daily. 

    Resources: