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Staying Healthy - Plan Ahead

Why This is Important

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1. Very few people are in a position to close the door and not leave home for three months. Most of us cannot afford to quit our jobs. Certain public safety jobs carry a duty to serve. In most cases, there will still be bills to be paid for housing, utilities, and unanticipated needs, such as a medical emergency.

2. If possible, businesses need to stay functioning. Both people and businesses need to remain healthy and viable to get us through up to three waves of the flu spread over a year and a half. However, there may be times when businesses and/or people need to make the decision to ‘shelter in place’ for a week or more if the pandemic is in full force in the area, and the death rate is high. When the pandemic is waning in the area, then businesses can reopen.

3. Staying healthy is more than just ‘washing your hands’ and ‘covering your sneeze.’ Protect yourself and your family at home and ANYTIME you leave home and come back again. Staying healthy is intentional. It requires systematically using infection control practices to minimize your risk.

Act Now to Minimize Your Risk

Flu Vaccine
1. Get your yearly flu vaccine shot While the current vaccine won't protect you from avian flu or any other "new" strains of the virus, it can help youstay healthy (by protecting you from some flu virus strains). This may help your body to fight the virus better if you do become infected, especially if the pandemic virus is a mixed strain containing components of seasonal flu.
Immunization
2. Get a pneumonia vaccine shot. In past influenza pandemics, many victims succumbed to secondary pneumonia infection. While the pneumonia vaccine cannot protect against all types of pneumonia, it can improve your chances of surviving the pandemic. The vaccine is especially recommended for people over the age of 65 or those who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma.

3. Make critical purchases now.
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  • Hand soap and/or hand sanitizerStart Now!
  • Unscented household bleach
  • Medical gloves
  • Splash-proof safety goggles
  • Respirators

See: "Staying Healthy – Respirators"
for important information on respirators.


4. Get preventative or elective medical procedures done now, when there is medical care. Healthcare practitioners may not be available in a pandemic. We recommend you download Where There is No Doctor at The Hesparian Foundation Web site.

5. Get dental work done now. Tooth and mouth infections are urgent medical issues. These may get into the bloodstream and cause serious illness. New technologies and methods, such as lasers and sedation, have made dental work virtually pain free. Keep children up to date on their dental checkups.

In a pandemic, your family's daily routine needs to include brushing, flossing, and mouth rinses. A dentist may not be available. We recommend you download Where There is No Dentist at The Hesperian Foundation Web site.