Thursday, April 30, 2009

Historical Perspective of Influenza Preparedness

I came across this article on CNN today and it offers a number of preparedness options that we can consider for protecting ourselves from the flu:
  • A big point in the article is that the spring flu was mild prior to the more lethal version that arrived in the fall. If this is the case, we have some time to get prepared.
  • It looks like a vaccination could be developed prior to the fall that may offer protection from the more virulent form of the flu. Note that I am not a big fan of untried (meaning lots of studies done over time) vaccines.
  • I liked the part about the town that closed itself off from the outside world for three and a half months. Could you isolate yourself for such a long period of time? Do you have the food, supplies, gear, income, and other resources to do such a thing?
  • Social distancing works. Keeping your distance from others (ie: stay away from crowds such as at the ballpark, at school, or on airplanes) is an effective way to keep from getting close enough to others to catch their illness.
  • Since there may be more time than first though to get prepared, consider ways you could set yourself up to be more isolated yet not so out of touch (ie: online bill paying, online banking, ways to work remotely from home, socializing online, etc).
  • Developing good prevention habits also helps: wash your hands often (I think one lady in our office is going to wash her finger prints off she does this so often), be aware of how often you touch your face with your hands and try not to do this, cough/sneeze into the crook of your arm instead of into your hands, etc.

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