SouthernWestVirginia Preparedeness partnership

INFLUENZA PANDEMIC

Stories of the avian bird flu and H1N1 occupied many of the headlines over the last year or two, highlighting the need to fully understand and prepare for this issue. Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause a range of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications. A season influenza public information sheet has been produced by the WV Bureau for Public Health and can be accessed here.

In the U.S., epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  work with states to collect, compile and analyze reports of flu outbreaks. Information concerning the current situation can be found at the CDC website.

Annual outbreaks of the seasonal flu usually occur during the late fall through early spring. Most people have natural immunity, and a seasonal flu vaccine is available. Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.  If you have been diagnosed with flu, you should stay home, follow your doctor’s orders, and watch for signs that you need immediate medical attention.

  • The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever (100°F ) is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you.
  • Avoid close contact with others, especially those who might easily get the flu, such as people age 65 years and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, young children, and infants.
  • Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after using tissues or coughing/sneezing into your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Drink clear fluids such as water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages made for infants to prevent becoming dehydrated.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Get medical attention right away if you:
    • Have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Experience pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Have sudden dizziness
    • Become confused
    • Have severe or persistent vomiting
    • Experience flu–like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

 A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza  virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population; the virus causes serious illness and spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide. 

Characteristics and Challenges of a Flu Pandemic  

  1. Rapid Worldwide Spread
    • When a pandemic influenza virus emerges, its global spread is considered inevitable.
    • Preparedness activities should assume that the entire world population would be susceptible.
    • Countries might, through measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, delay arrival of the virus, but cannot stop it.
  2. Health Care Systems Overloaded
    • Most people have little or no immunity to a pandemic virus. Infection and illness rates soar. A substantial percentage of the world’s population will require some form of medical care.
    • Nations unlikely to have the staff, facilities, equipment and hospital beds needed to cope with large numbers of people who suddenly fall ill.
    • Death rates are high, largely determined by four factors: the number of people who become infected, the virulence of the virus, the underlying characteristics and vulnerability of affected populations and the effectiveness of preventive measures.
    • Past pandemics have spread globally in two and sometimes three waves.
  3. Medical Supplies Inadequate
    • The need for vaccine is likely to outstrip supply.
    • The need for antiviral drugs is also likely to be inadequate early in a pandemic.
    • A pandemic can create a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators and other supplies. Surge capacity at non-traditional sites such as schools may be created to cope with demand
    • Difficult decisions will need to be made regarding who gets antiviral drugs and vaccines.
  4. Economic and Social Disruption
    • Travel bans, closings of schools and businesses and cancellations of events could have major impact on communities and citizens.
    • Care for sick family members and fear of exposure can result in significant worker absenteeism.

 

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American Red Cross-Beckley Jerry Runion
Address:
200 Industrial Drive P.O. Box 1598, Beckley ,
WV 25802,
304-255-1508 .
Description: Emergency Services....Disaster's-Flood-Home Fires-Snow Storms-Chemical Spills etc. Provide Food-Clothing -Shelter
Beaver Fire Department
Address:
147 3rd Street, Beaver,
WV 25813,
.
Description: In case of emergency dial 911
Beckley ARH Hospital
Address:
306 Stanaford Rd., Beckley,
WV 25801,
304-254-2787.
Description:
Beckley ARH Hospital
Address:
306 Stanaford Rd., Beckley,
WV 25801,
304-254-2787.
Description:
Beckley Police Department
Address:
340 Prince St, Beckley,
WV 25801,
(304) 256-1708.
Description: The City of Beckley with its natural beauty, friendly people and its committed Police Department, makes Beckley a great place...
Greenbrier Valley Medical Center
Address:
202 Maplewood Avenue, Ronceverte,
WV 24970,
304-647-4411.
Description:
Mullens Police Department
Address:
316 Moran Ave, Mullens,
WV 25882,
304-645-1626.
Description: This is a description.
Princeton Community Hospital Association
Address:
122 Twelfth St, Princeton,
WV 24740,
.
Description:
Veteran's Hospital
Address:
200 Veterans Ave, Beckley,
WV 25801,
(304) 255-2121.
Description:
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