Watch the movie “Contagion” and then you’ll ask: “Could this really happen?” “What would I do if it did?” Public Health officials give some answers: Yes, it is possible for a new, deadly virus to emerge anywhere, at any time. And yes, there are ways you can be prepared. Making a kit for home is a great first step.
In the case of such an outbreak, the CDC will work with state and local health departments to find the cause and how to control the contagious disease outbreak. In the meantime, you can protect yourself by washing your hands, staying away from ill people, and if necessary, being prepared to “shelter in place” or stay at home for a period of time.
Almost every year, a novel (new) flu virus appears and the CDC works to develop and distribute a vaccine to prevent a widespread outbreak. The H1N1 virus that first emerged in 2009 is a well-known example of a new strain of flu that public health at the national, state and local level worked to contain. H1N1 remains a prevalent strain this year and is included again in this year’s vaccine.
This fall the Buncombe County Department of Health asks that the public do two things:
Create a preparedness kit so you can “shelter in place” or stay at home for a period of time. Being prepared will not only help you during a flu or disease outbreak, it can also come in handy during winter storms or other emergencies. For information about being prepared including a list of suggested items to have in your kit, go to buncombecounty.org/preparedness.
Get a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months of age who can take it. This will help prevent the spread of the virus to those who cannot take the vaccine.
Contagion illustrates a disease situation that none of us ever wants to experience. We can all help to prevent illness with three simple steps:
Wash hands often
Cover coughs and sneezes
Stay home when you or your child is sick
These three simple steps cannot be emphasized enough!Read the full article