Archive for July 30, 2009

Pandemic Flu Checklist for Individuals

From the Pandemic Flu Checklist for Individuals:

You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.

1.To plan for a pandemic:

◦Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.

◦Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

◦Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

◦Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

◦Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

◦Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

2.To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

◦Teach your children to wash hands frequently with soap and water, and model the correct behavior.

◦Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, and be sure to model that behavior.

◦Teach your children to stay away from others as much as possible if they are sick. Stay home from work and school if sick.

3.Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home:

Examples of food and non-perishables

◦Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups

◦Protein or fruit bars

◦Dry cereal or granola

◦Peanut butter or nuts

◦Dried fruit


◦Canned juices

◦Bottled water

◦Canned or jarred baby food and formula

◦Pet food

Examples of medical, health, and emergency supplies

◦Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment

◦Soap and water, or alcohol-based (60-95%) hand wash

◦Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen


◦Anti-diarrheal medication


◦Fluids with electrolytes

◦Cleansing agent/soap



Other non-perishable items

◦Portable radio

◦Manual can opener

◦Garbage bags

◦Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers

I would add a few things to that list:

Disposable latex (or neoprene) gloves in the event that you have to care for a sick family member.

Bleach, Lysol, other disinfecting agents to clean up vomit/waste.

The CDC seems to be assuming that water and electrical supplies may be compromised at some point due to illness of the employees or employees’ families working at the utilities. They’ve recommended a 2-week supply of bottled water, but no way to heat/cook the canned foods (Kids, just shut up and eat the damn cold green beans, ‘kay?) (No, that ain’t gonna work.) So, I’d recommend you have a new bottle of gas for the grill, the camping stove, and/or charcoal for the grill just in case the second wave is larger (but hopefully not deadlier).

Unfortunately, this thing will be coming back at a time when a large number of people are unemployed/on the verge of losing unemployment benefits and really can’t afford to stock up. If you can afford to do so, stock some extra supplies for those in the neighborhood/family that can’t. The worst that could happen if this thing fizzles out (which I hope for) is that you don’t have to buy pork and beans for awhile, right?

Second Flu Wave Hits Mexico

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Hurlburt Field Hit with Swine Flu

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Swine flu has hit the Air Force’s special operations command in northwest Florida.

As many as 59 airmen at Hurlburt Field are suspected of having the virus, while another four have tested positive.

First Special Operations Wing spokeswoman Amy Oliver said Wednesday they won’t be testing the probable cases.

Okaloosa County Health Department director Dr. Karen Chapman calls this the first sizable cluster in the area – and it won’t be the last.

Swine flu incidences seem to be sharply increasing in Florida in the hottest part of the summer.

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Obesity NOT a Risk Factor for Death from Flu

Per Bloomberg:

July 29 (Bloomberg) — Being fat doesn’t increase the risk of death from swine flu, according to a U.S. analysis that contradicts initial reports.

About 34 percent of the U.S. population is obese, while 38 percent of patients who died with swine flu had the condition, according to a report presented today at a vaccine conference at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Extremely obese people make up 6 percent of the population and 7 percent of swine flu deaths.

For the seasonal flu virus that strikes every year, obesity isn’t considered a separate risk factor, and global health authorities were studying a possible link with swine flu complications from anecdotal reports by hospitals. After analyzing the available data, scientists at the CDC today said there was no unique threat for the overweight.

“Obesity should not be considered a new risk factor,” said Anthony Fiore, a CDC researcher. Obese patients may have other conditions that can complicate the flu, and doctors should still consider that when making treatment recommendations, he said.

I didn’t think that the reported risk was valid. News organizations (and people that make their living from fear of fat) have been demonizing the overweight for quite some time, even though the actual studies prove that overweight people live longer, healthier lives than thin people.

There have never been any independent* studies that proved that consuming animal fats was less healthy than consuming vegetable fats, either. *sigh* Or that organic diets were healthier, or raw diets, etc. In fact, independent studies often prove just the opposite.

*Independent study means that the study is not being paid for by the people promulgating that particular diet/lifestyle.

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