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Don’t Panic!

April 30, 2009
  You are sitting and reading this entry, but in the back of your mind you may be thinking of the news and the influenza virus that is spreading around the world that is talked about in the news so much lately.  For your edification and illumination I am providing my dear readers with information and links to beat the bugs!
  Question #1  What is making so many people sick?
A:  Swine flu, or more accurately called H1N1 influenza A is the virus that the World Health Organization is concerned about. Click virus name for link.
   Question #2  What does the WHO phase of pandemic alert mean?
A:  World health officials need to communicate effectively to prevent the spread of world wide disease.  The levels are their way of communicating what the spread is and what steps should be taken next.  Recently they have declared a Level 5 pandemic alert.  Click level to learn more about WHO alert stages.
    Question #3  What should I do to prevent getting the flu?
A:  Excellent question!  Prevention is the best weapon in our arsenal against viruses!  Play the Pandemic! board game sometime and you will soon be telling your little markers, "why don’t you just wash your freaking hands!"
  One of the most important thing you can do to prevent illness is to wash your hands.  You can either use hand sanitizer (most effective) or soap and water (very effective if done right).  Here is a video on how to do it best!
  Here are some times when we should wash our hands, I am sure you can think of others:
  • after blowing your nose
  • after using the washroom
  • after reading a menu
  • after pushing a grocery cart
  • before eating or preparing food

  Of course try to avoid people who are sick and if you require close contact with someone who is sick (closer then 3 feet) you may want to wear a face mask, but it is just best to avoid or reduce contact.  I don’t know anyone personally who is coughing and sneezing from the flu so I am not rushing out to wear one.  Face masks can help prevent droplets of virus from landing on mucous membranes when someone coughs or sneezes. 

  In conclusion, we can all work together to prevent becoming ill from any virus if we follow some simple preventative steps.  The next best advice is not to panic, unless you are playing the board game and you see towers of cubes all over the map and you just pulled another epidemic card.
Stay healthy everyone!
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