A recent survey of American adults found that 76% worried about becoming ill if they had to stay home and take care of the sick during a severe flu pandemic.1
  Learn infection control measures. 


Setting up a Sick Room

Wash hands for 15 seconds with soap and water

infection prevention

Cover a cough or sneeze with tissue

prevent infection
I continue to watch and read news reports about the current H1N1 flu pandemic. Over and over again, community education efforts present important basic information that includes
  • cover a cough
  • wash your hands
  • get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.
Even though recent evaluations of H1N1 flu programs (PCAST, GAO and the Trust for America's Health discussed in earlier blogs) stated more work was needed to help the public understand complex and changing issues, the focus for pandemic planning rests on expanding "surge capacity for hospitals, clinics emergency response systems, "nurse information hotlines" and web based H1N1 information.
Current community education efforts could be expanded to  include evidence based, illustrated books, DVDs and other materials. Benchmarks for identifying mild, moderate and severe influenza illness and what to do at each stage including when to contact a health provider and why could be made available to the public now  "Pandemic Flu Home Care: A Detailed Guide for Caring for the Ill at Home" is an example of a research based community education resource.   
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