Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pandemic Basics

Preparation is something we should all do. Everyone has a level that they are willing to prepare to. Can you ever be too prepared? It’s like being too rich or too pretty… But with a little knowledge and a little preparedness, we can have peace of mind.

What is a Pandemic?
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.
An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity. Viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses.
Do we still have pandemics?
Yes. Most recently in 2009 where estimated between 151,700 and 575,400 people perished worldwide from H1N1 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated, according to a study released in 2012 from the CDC. This includes nearly 3,900 people, including about 540 children, in the U.S.
H7N9 in 2013 killed 31 of 131 infected.
Can pandemics be treated?
The only thing used that actually works was in 2003 for H5N1. That was Tamiflu which is an anti-viral. As long as the drug was used it worked. As soon as it wasn’t used it was as if it were never used. A vaccine will take 5 to 6 months to develop. Humans don’t respond well to vaccine.
How do we prepare for a pandemic?
Reduce the likelihood of infection by using good personal hygiene and self-care practices.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and place used tissues directly into the trash.
• If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
• After coughing or sneezing, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Stay at home if you are ill.
• Make a plan among your family and friends for taking care of one another should one of you become ill.
• Talk with your family and friends about how they will be cared for if they become ill.
• Keep at least a two-week supply of non-perishable easy-to-prepare foods, water and other critical household and hygiene goods.
• Keep a supply of medical supplies, prescription and non-prescription drugs.
• Investigate how your health insurance carrier plans to handle costs of treatment during a pandemic.
• Check with your employer regarding policies for dealing with a pandemic.
• Ask about plans at your child’s school or daycare for dealing with a pandemic, and develop plans now for how you would keep homebound children occupied.

The Kit

Water –at least 1 gallon per person, per day

Food - Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups Examples include:
Protein, granola or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
Peanut butter or nuts
Dried fruit
Protein powder
Canned juices
Canned milk
Canned or jarred baby food/formula

Pet Food/Supplies – Don’t forget about at least a 2 week supply for your animals as well

Baby Supplies:
Diaper Cream
Extra toys

Paper towels, toilet paper, and facial tissue

Feminine hygiene supplies

Dental supplies:

Masks (N95)

Medicine cabinet:
Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Anti-diarrheal medicine
Prescription medicine – ensure a continuous supply
Cough suppressants
Throat lozenges

First-Aid Kit

Disposable, sealable plastic (Ziploc)

Manual can opener

Cleaning agents:
Soap (bleach, chlorine)
Disinfectant spray
Hand sanitizer – alcohol based

Flashlights and extra batteries

Important family documents

Contact information for neighbors, family members, doctors, and friends

As with all kits, tailor this kit to your needs and your family.

These are some quotes from notable authorities, take them for what they are, an informed opinion.

“You’re going to be staying home for one year. There will be no school. There will be no work. All we’ll be doing is trying to keep ourselves alive.” Richard Canas, NJ State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

“Everything you say in advance of a pandemic seems alarmist. Anything you’ve done after it starts is inadequate.” Michael Leavitt, Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary.

"What are the chances that some kind of pandemic flu will devastate world populations again? It's almost certain."
-Arthur Reingold, MD, Director of Epidemiology, Berkeley School of Public Health

Pandemics are always possible. In the U.S. we have an infrastructure in place that keep us safe. Clean water, good sanitation, knowledge and practices of cleaning and keeping healthy. These all aid us in staying away from disease and sickness. The problem is, we also live in the land of plenty. We have modern continence’s and enough junk food to give several small countries diabetes. We also have some of the best Doctors and hospitals in the world. Sometimes it’s not real good to be an industrialized country. But by and large we have general health in the U.S. compared to other countries.
So be aware of what is going on in the world and in our country. Do not just blow off news reports about the Zica virus or other problems that are occurring here. Protect yourself and your family.

Semper Paratus
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