Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pandemic/Swine Flu ??? What does all of this mean?

1. Widespread; general.
2. Medicine Epidemic over a wide geographic area and affecting a large proportion of the population.

Swine Influenza (Flu)
U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection(As of April 28, 2009 11:00 AM ET)
State & # of laboratory confirmed cases:
California-10 cases
Kansas-2 cases
New York City-45 cases
Ohio-1 case
Texas-6 cases
64 cases
International Human Cases of Swine Flu InfectionSee: World Health Organization
The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients. Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu. In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4 . A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.” The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.
CDC has activated its emergency operations center to coordinate the agency’s emergency response. CDC ’s goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this swine influenza virus. Yesterday, CDC issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. CDC continues to issue interim guidance daily on the website and through health alert network notices. CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

For more information, check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

The best way to prevent the spread is “universal precautions”

Universal Precautions
1. wash hands before and after each medical procedure (may use a waterless hand cleaner)
2. wear gloves whenever there is a possiblity of coming in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (body fluids and tissues)
3. wear full-body gowns whenever there is a possibility of blood splashing onto the rescuer
4. wear face masks and eye protection whenever there is a possibility of blood splashing into the rescuer's face
5. dispose of all contaminated sharp objects in an appropriate puncture-proof container
6. dispose of all contaminated personal protective equipment in an appropriate container marked for bio-hazardous waste

Resources to stay informed:

Health Map

Center for Disease Control

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

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