When a Pandemic Influenza occurs…
one in every four people can get sick!
What is Influenza?
....Influenza (“flu”) is a virus that typically affects the nose, throat and lungs. The illness usually lasts between three and seven days and symptoms include fever, headache, cough, aches and sore throat. The symptoms of pandemic flu are similar to those of seasonal flu, but can be more severe.
What is pandemic influenza?
....An influenza, or “flu” pandemic is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus appears or "emerges" in the human population, causes serious illness, and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide and more people will get sick because they have never been exposed to this virus before and their bodies cannot fight it off. This allows the virus to spread widely and cause illness among many people creating what is called a pandemic. Currently there is no influenza pandemic, and globally we are in the pre-pandemic preparation phase.
How Does Pandemic Flu Start?
.....Flu viruses are constantly changing. Pandemic flu usually starts with a new flu virus (typically an animal flu virus like the bird flu) that has changed into a form that can easily infect, and be spread from person to person.
What Effects Could An Influenza Pandemic Have On Our Society?
......An especially severe influenza pandemic could lead to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss. Everyday life would be disrupted because so many people in so many places become seriously ill at the same time. Impacts can range from school and business closings to the interruption of basic services such as public transportation and food deliver.
.....An important percentage of the world's population will require some form of health care. Health centers can overflow, producing a lack of enough personnel, beds, fans and other hospital equipment. It is possible that it might be necessary to accommodate non-traditional places, like schools, in order to use them as hospitals and face the demand.
.....It is probable that the need for vaccines exceeds what is on hand as is that the antiviral medications available might not be enough when the pandemic starts. Difficult decisions will have to be made regarding who will get the antiviral medications and vaccines.
During a pandemic, what precautions can I take to avoid the
spread of influenza?
.....As with other infectious illnesses, one of the most important preventive practices is careful and frequent hand washing. Cleaning your hands often, especially after sneezing or coughing, using soap and water, or applying waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizers removes potentially infectious materials from your skin and helps prevent the spread of diseases. Other precautions include cleaning surfaces that are touched often such as computer keyboards and door handles and stay home when you are sick. General food preparation and safety guidelines should also be followed. Influenza viruses are destroyed by heat; therefore, as a precaution, all foods from poultry, including eggs and poultry blood, should be thoroughly cooked.
For more information and copy of County of San Diego Influenza Response Plan
you could call to the Pandemic Flu Info Line 1-888- 6333-1330 or visit
TEL- 619-427-4111 Email - Health@infooption.com
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