Nelson County, Virginia
- First and foremost, no know cases of swine flu have been reported anywhere in Virginia as of earlier this week.
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
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.)
• 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) ( 1-888-232-6348) TTY
• Nelson County Department of Emergency Services 434-263-7045 or firstname.lastname@example.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.