Pandemic influenza could potentially kill 2 to 7.4 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization. Naturally, you want to keep your family safe by preparing for the flu. Strains of the flu are constantly changing. There’s usually a vaccination each year that can help you build an immunity. However, if there is a pandemic influenza, this is not covered by the initial version of the vaccine.
Monitoring Pandemic Influenza
Health organizations worldwide work together to track instances of the flu. They monitor new strains of the virus and how quickly they spread. You can do a bit of your own monitoring by visiting the Flu.gov website, which presents the most recent news about the flu. News stations will also report any danger of pandemic flu viruses.
Preparing for a Pandemic
If there is a pandemic flu, hospitals and doctor’s offices will find medical necessities in short supply. Initially, there won’t be a vaccine for the new virus, but once there is one, there may be limited availability. Whenever possible, your local doctor’s office and hospitals should try to stock up on supplies. At home, you’ll want to have everything you’d need to avoid going out. Stock up beforehand so that you can keep your family safe.
Protecting Your Family
The best way of preventing the flu in your family is by not exposing anyone to the virus. If there’s a pandemic, you may want to avoid travel, even to the store to buy groceries. Keep your children home from school and stay home from work if possible. When you do go out, keep hand sanitizer with you, and apply it often. A face mask can protect you from exposure or prevent you from passing the disease on if you have it.
The Biggest Concerns
The flu is most dangerous for older people and those with compromised immune systems. If anyone in your family fits this description, take extra precaution to keep them healthy. Hospitals may become overrun with patients if the disease hits your area hard, which can make it difficult to get treatment for any type of illness, not only the flu.
If you suspect that you might have the flu, contact your doctor’s office. If it’s just a mild case, you may be advised to simply stay home and rest. If you do need medical treatment, call around to the different hospitals in the area. Some hospitals may be less crowded than others.