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South Central Public Health District has been preparing for a possible influenza pandemic, a worldwide flu that could affect the lives of millions of people like you and your family.
Although we don't know when the next pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, there are steps you should take now to protect yourself and those around you. This website contains several items to help you prepare for an influenza pandemic or other emergency.
CDC Pandemic News
About the Flu
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.
Extensive efforts are underway to track and monitor the spread of all flu viruses. In the U.S. epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working with states to collect, compile, and analyze reports of flu outbreaks.
Pandemic Flu vs. Seasonal Flu
Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.
Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person.
A pandemic's worldwide consequences could include:
More than 7 million deaths from even a mild pandemic, according to the WHO (death estimates vary wildly - some top 350 million - and will ultimately depend on the virulence of a pandemic strain), and
Between 89,000 and 207,000 deaths in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is the potential local impact of a pandemic?
If a pandemic occurred today, it is estimated that 1,400 citizens of south central Idaho would die and 5,000 would be hospitalized.
Additionally, a pandemic would likely result in 25,000 outpatient visits.
Pandemic Flu History:
The Spanish Flu of 1918-1919
The first pandemic of the 20th century is widely regarded as the deadliest disease in human history. Death estimates worldwide range from 20 million to more than 100 million. The following are some of the characteristics of the 1918 flu outbreak:
Outbreaks occurred simultaneously in Europe and several states in the United States.
The pandemic broke in two waves. The first, in the spring and summer of 1918, was highly contagious, but did not cause many deaths. The second wave crashed across the world with remarkable speed and lethality. The death rate was 10 times greater in the second wave than the first.
The flu infected about 25-30% of the world's population, striking every continent. One of the Spanish Flu's most troubling aspects was that most deaths occurred in people in "the prime of life," between 15 and 35 years old.
Are You Ready for the Flu or Other Emergency?
Is your family, business, or organization ready for a pandemic outbreak? Plan now for an outbreak later. Use the information on the "Fact Sheets" and "Checklists" tabs to help you get started.
For more information, check out:
Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
Simple ways to keep the flu away:
Practice good flu hygiene now so that it becomes “second nature” if there is a pandemic flu outbreak:
Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing and sneezing
Wash your hands often
Use warm water and lots of soap!
Sing the Happy Birthday song two times while washing (about 20 seconds).
Rinse well and dry on a clean towel.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Avoid close contact with sick people
Stay home when you are sick
Do all you can to improve your health. The healthier you are, the more resistant your body is to disease. So it’s a better time than ever to quit smoking, improve your eating habits, exercise regularly, and get regular medical checkups and recommended immunizations.
Get vaccinated when vaccines become available.
Make a personal preparedness plan and kit: visit http://www.redcross.org.
Fact Sheets for Healthcare Providers
Guidance for Healthcare Providers in an Office Setting
Guidelines and Recommendations for the Use of Masks
to Control Influenza Transmission
Fact Sheets for Businesses
Pandemic Flu Guidance for Non-Health Care Employers
Checklist for Childcare Centers and Pre-schools
Checklist for K-12 Schools
Checklist for Colleges and Universities
Checklist for Hospitals
Checklist for Medical Offices and Clinics
Checklist for Long-term Care and Other Residential Facilities
Checklist for Home Health Care Services
Checklist for Emergency Medical Services Workers
Checklist for State and Local Government Agencies
Checklist for Law Enforcement
Get your students involved with
"The Scrub Club"
Introduce your students to
"Henry the Hand"
Planning Guides for Families
Pandemic Influenza Planning: A Guide for Individuals and Families
Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies
World Health Organization
Handbook for Journalists
Business Continuity of Operations Planning
Business Continuity Planning Guide
Every Business Should Have a Plan