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Nelson & Area Health Departments Ready For Possible Flu Outbreak Should It Occur Here : 4.29.09

[ 8 ] April 29, 2009 |
©2009 NCL Magazine : As of April 26, no know cases of swine flu had been reported in Virginia, but authorities are taking precautions.

©2009 NCL Magazine : As of April 26, no know cases of swine flu had been reported in Virginia, but authorities are taking precautions.

Nelson County, Virginia

As of April 26th the closest states reporting swine flu were New York and Ohio. However, area health officials are making preparations and distributing information to the public should such an outbreak occur.

This information is provided by the Nelson County Emergency Services Division.

For additional information, be sure to click on the highlighted linked text in this post to learn more.

Seasonal Flu Pandemic Influenza
Seasonal Flu, Pandemic Flu and Bird Flu
What you need to know

Swine Flu Talking Points- Thomas Jefferson Health Department

Thomas Jefferson Health Department – Pandemic Influenza Plan Template for Schools

Influenza (Flu), do you have the facts?

The Seasonal Flu:
This refers to several common strains (specify forms) of flu virus that go around each year, mainly in fall and winter. A yearly shot (vaccine) can help prevent it.

A Flu Pandemic:
This is when a new flu strain starts spreading easily and quickly around the world, Depending in the strength of the strain, it can cause:
• Many people to get sick at once-producing a vaccine for it will take time.
• Severe illness and many deaths.
• A short supply of food, goods and services if many workers stay home, medical or government services get overloaded, or travel is restricted.

Bird (Avian) Flu:
This refers to flu strains that mainly infect poultry and some wild birds. If a bird flu were to evolve in a way that let it spread to people – and then spread easily between people – a flu pandemic could begin.

Flu Pandemics, have happened before. They are likely to happen again sometime.

No one can say when:
• The 1900’s had 3 flu pandemics. The most deadly one (1918) killed about 675,000 people in the U.S.
• Flu viruses are easily spread and constantly changing. With modern travel, viruses can circle the globe faster than ever.
• A bird flu strain called H5N1 has infected some humans in other parts of the world. But so far, it hasn’t spread easily between people.

A lot is being done to prepare:
Around the world, governments are taking steps for:
• Prevention – like quickly dealing with infected poultry.
• Minimizing effects – like planning ways to ensure essential services continue in a pandemic.
• Treatment – like encouraging the production of flu medications.

There are also simple things each of us can do:

Know about flu germs.
They spread mainly through people’s coughs and sneezes. These things can spray droplets through the air and:
• Into the mouths or noses of people nearby.
• Onto surfaces that people touch before touching their nose, mouth or eyes.
In rare cases, humans can also catch flu germs from an infected bird, pig or other animal. This could happen through contact with feces, saliva, mucus, raw meat or raw eggs from the animal.

Different flu strains may cause similar symptoms:
But a pandemic flu may be more severe. Unless a pandemic has begun, symptoms most likely mean seasonal flu-or a different illness that causes flu-like symptoms. Flu symptoms generally:
• Start within 10 days (usually 2) of exposure.
• Include fever, chills, headache, body aches, sore throat, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath.

Take steps to help avoid getting or spreading flu germs:

Wash your hands often and well.
Be sure to scrub your hands and wrist for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy for times when soap and water aren’t available.

Cover coughs and sneezes.
Use a tissue. (Use your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue-not your hands.) Put the used tissue in a wastebasket. Then wash your hands well. Stay at least 3 feet away from others if you’re coughing and sneezing-or if they are.

If you get sick, act responsibly.
If you think you might have caught a flu virus, call your health-care provider, a clinic or the local flu hotline. Find out:
• If you should stay home and for how long.
• How to protect others-for example, by staying in a separate room.
• How to treat symptoms-or if you should go in for testing or treatment.

Get any available flu shots.
The yearly flu shot helps prevent the seasonal flu. Authorities are working to ensure that is a pandemic starts, a vaccine will:
• Be produced as quickly as possible.
• Go to high-priority groups first-like those who provide essential services t help others.

Thoroughly cook meat, poultry and eggs.
And carefully clean any surface-including hands and utensils-after contact with raw products. This helps kill flu or other germs that may be present.

Support “common good” efforts.
Authorities have developed strategies to help stop or slow a flu pandemic, should one occur. These may include:
• Shutting down mass transit or preventing travel into or out of certain areas
• Restricting gatherings (school, movies, sports events, etc.)
• Asking everyone to stay home.
• Separating people who have or may have pandemic flu from others.

Create an emergency kit:
Store enough bottles water, food and other supplies to last at least 2 weeks. (This will help if utilities falter or if you’re stuck at home for any reason.)

Learn more:
www.pandemicflu.gov
www.cdc.gov/flu/
• 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) ( 1-888-232-6348) TTY
• Nelson County Department of Emergency Services 434-263-7045 or ruttaro@nelsoncounty.org. Copies of disaster supplies kits are available on request.

Be assured that the Nelson County Department of Emergency Services is working with State and Local Health Departments to develop contingency plans in the event of a major pandemic outbreak. All businesses, schools, and citizens should also be making plans in the event of an outbreak.

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Comments (8)

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  1. malin bailey says:

    This statement is what upsets me:

    A lot is being done to prepare:
    Around the world, governments are taking steps for:
    • Prevention – like quickly dealing with infected poultry.
    • Minimizing effects – like planning ways to ensure essential services continue in a pandemic.
    • Treatment – like encouraging the production of flu medications.

    The prevention part should not be about quickly dealing w/infected animals. It has to do w/controlling the outbreaks in the first place. These animals are the same as humans where they are overusing antibiotics to kill these strains and these “super bugs” are the ones affecting the livestock. That is where some of the research and money needs to go… It should be a no brainer; stop it before it can happen. Period! Come on people.

  2. Bill Allen says:

    Talk about a no-brainer. Earth to Malin. Amateur epidemiology strikes again. Check your facts on antibiotics and viruses, please! Get a clue before pontificating on things unfamiliar. Period!

  3. Malin Bailey says:

    Thanks Bill,

    As a nursing student I have had enough microbiology and biology to choke on… this post is actually part of my NAS185 online course I am taking.

    The misnomer that was inserted in my original post is part of my project. Our professor states that people are MORE likely interested in educating people who misquote this latest outbreak than educate them. I on the other hand felt that people are more likely to not educate and would rather “dis” a person. You flunked… or passed… depending on whose outlook you use…

    It will be interesting to see what my other local posts get for a response.

    Thanks,

    ~ the amateur

  4. Bill Allen says:

    Wow!

    Your original post demonstrated such ignorance that it required a firm response.

    Silly (and irrelevant to nursing) project if even true. I am a physician and lament the state of education in health care these days. The alleged project is perfect evidence! Online course, Oh My God!
    Tell your professor he/she should try to have you all learn how to be good providers of nursing. Goodness knows there is plenty to learn without this kind of psychobabble. Sorry your education seems to be wanting and good luck in the real world! Maybe let me know where you will be working in the future for my protection.

  5. Malin Bailey says:

    Typical doctor response… thanks for the encouragement. Nurses today are able to take course online to a certain point… as are doctors… welcome to 2009; Ditto on the NOT running into each other… Imagine putting this energy into something good ~ I would assume I will be at UVa…. heads up!

    Best wishes to you, seriously,

    Thanks,

    Malin

  6. Lori says:

    Hey Malin and Dr. Bill (ironic name),
    These posts have provided daily entertainment and some education for those of us watching and reading.
    I have to say to Malin, congratulations on taking these courses, improving yourself and really wanting to help people as a nurse. It is hard work!
    Not all Dr’s are ego driven. Dr. Steve Schmitz with Martha Jefferson is a wonderful, down to earth guy.
    Good Luck to you!

  7. Malin Bailey says:

    Thanks Lori,

    My doctor is w/ Martha Jefferson also and I love him. Dr. Cole has a wonderful demeanor and really cares about his patients. I think Schmitz and Cole are partners at Afton Family Med… but not sure. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I was a little uncomfortable w/speaking w/Dr. Bill in this type setting; I am not into negative or aggressive behavior… but I was just shocked at his reply. I have been home for the last two years waiting to have my second open heart surgery and trying to get through school and to keep calm but I guess he just pushed the wrong buttons… glad it was entertaining for some… LOL Take care –

    Again thanks for the support.

    Warmest regards,

    Malin

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