The precautions we use to fight the spread of seasonal influenza each winter are the same preventive strategies we would use to fight pandemic influenza. Simple precautions to fight the flu:
• Cover Your Cough
• Wash Your Hands
• Stay Away From Sick People, and
• Stay Home When You’re Sick.
No one knows how bad the next influenza pandemic will be, but everyone should be prepared.
• Large numbers of sick people may overwhelm hospitals and clinics. Doctors and nurses will get sick also, so hospitals and clinics may be short-staffed.
• Many people will be unable to work, affecting how long businesses, banks, government offices and other services are open.
• You may be asked to stay away from others. Staying home will help stop the spread of the virus. Events may be canceled, theaters and schools closed. If necessary, health officials will issue orders to keep people who have the virus separated from others.
• An influenza pandemic could last a long time. The 1918 influenza pandemic lasted 18 months. In some cases, pandemics weaken for a while and then recur.
• Health officials will keep you informed. They will work with the media to provide timely information and advice. Web sites from government health agencies will also have updated information.
• It is important to think about health issues that could arise if an influenza pandemic occurs, and how they could affect you and your loved ones.
• Gather family health information that includes:
◊ Family members’ name
◊ Past and current medical conditions, and
◊ Current medications and dosages
Public Health Information HotLine - (208) 748-0400 Public Health Toll-Free Information HotLine - (866) 736-6632