A Pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily from person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in a very short time.
It is difficult to predict when the next pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. Wherever and whenever a pandemic starts, everyone around the world will be at risk of catching the virus.
The Avian (bird) influenza virus is being monitored very closely by public health officials. Currently, most of the individuals who have contracted Avian influenza caught it from a bird. There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus at this time. However, public health officials are very concerned that the Avian influenza virus will evolve into a virus capable of human to human transmission.
For more information on preparing for Pandemic Flu visit:
Store food and drink that does not need to be kept in the
refrigerator. Buy an extra item each time you shop to build a
supply. Check each item to see that it has an expiration date
on it or else mark it with the date you bought it.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans,
- Dry Beans and Rice
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter or nuts
- Dried fruit
- Juices, electrolyte drinks (also called sports drinks)
- Bottled water – An adult needs one gallon a day.
- Jar or canned baby food, formula, and diapers
- Pet food
- Other nonperishable foods such as cereal bars, snack packs
- Food preparation and storage items – manual can opener, plastic utensils, cups and paper plates, paper towels, plastic bags, trash bags
- Medical, health, and emergency supplies
- Prescription medicines and equipment – keep your prescriptions and labels from the drugstore
- Soap and water, or alcohol-based (60% minimum) hand sanitizer
- Medicines for fever, pain, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, arthritis, coughs, sneezes, etc.
- Thermometer; ice bag or plastic bags to hold ice to help relieve fever
- Household cleaners – pure, unscented bleach; dish and laundry detergents; counter, sink, and toilet cleaners; mold and mildew removers
- Flashlights, portable radios and TVs, and batteries – There are also flashlights and radios you can crank to give them power without batteries.
- Tissues, paper towels, baby wipes, rubber gloves, face masks (N95), toilet paper, disposable diapers, and garbage bags
TO GET READY FOR IT
- Store at least a two-week supply of water and food. Stores may run out of items or be closed because so many people may be sick, or you may be too sick to leave your home.
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company if you can get an extra supply of your regular prescription drugs. Find out from your pharmacist what procedures are provided for after hours and/or emergency access to your prescription medications. In case your pharmacy is closed, you should keep either the drug container with the label or your copies of the receipts and papers that come with your medicines. Another doctor or pharmacy may be able to look at this information and know what to give you when you need to have your prescription refilled.
- Make sure you have some extra drugstore supplies that you can buy without a prescription. These include medicines for reducing fever, pain, stomach upsets, diarrhea, cold, and coughs. Other supplies include vitamins, fluids with electrolytes such as sports drinks, sprays and ointments for cuts, thermometers, and ice bags or plastic bags to hold ice.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about who would care for them if they got sick, and what would be needed to care for them at home.
- Ask what your workplace, church, schools, and other community groups are doing to prepare for pandemic flu. You can offer to become a volunteer with them. You can also volunteer with the Alabama Department of Public Health. Go to adph.org/volunteer or call toll-free 1-866-264-4073 to find out more information.
TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES AND GERMS AND PREVENT INFECTION
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. No tissue? Cough and sneeze into upper arm or sleeve.
- Don’t touch your eyes or inside your nose or mouth if your hands aren’t
clean. Germs that you pick up on places like door handles and telephones can come into your body through eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stand at least 3 feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. Flu can be spread by droplets coughed or sneezed in the air.
- Stay at home if you are sick, and keep your family at home if they are sick.
- Teach children and others in your family to make the above actions a daily routine.
For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site: adph.org/pandemicflu