Monday, August 3, 2009

Fauquier Health Plans for Hard-Hitting Flu

There already has been a lot of talk about the potential for a pandemic flu this fall. Reports of illness and deaths from the H1N1 virus surfaced in the spring and have continued during the summer months. Health experts predict that the disease could make a strong comeback in September or October.

The most current information is that vaccines may be available by October, but the news about the H1N1 virus changes daily. The symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Fauquier Health's Emergency Management team is playing it safe – planning for the worst while hoping for the best.

Plan Ahead
• If you get the flu, stay home from work, school and social gatherings. Prepare to stay home for seven days, until you are no longer contagious. That means stay home. Don’t run to the store for milk
or to your child’s school to drop off forgotten homework.
• Plan for the possibility that essential services you depend on may be disrupted. These could include services provided by
your doctor, banks, restaurants,
government offices, telephone and
cellular phone companies and post offices.
• Schools, preschools, childcare facilities, trade schools and colleges and universities may be closed to limit the spread of flu in the community and to help
prevent children from becoming sick. Stores may have limited supplies.
• Keep a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks in small denominations for easy use.
• Store two weeks of nonperishable food,
and select foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation (including the
use of water) or cooking. Store two weeks
of water, one gallon of water per person
per day, in clean plastic containers.
• Insure that formulas for infants and any child’s or older person’s special nutritional needs are a part of your planning.

Stay Healthy
• Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or with a hand sanitizing liquid.
• Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue immediately in the trash.
• To keep germs from spreading, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For More Information

• The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) hotline, 1.800.CDC.INFO
email to
Links to state departments of public
health can be found at

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