TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE FLU
While looking around the Internet for teaching tools for children I bumped into a great resource developed by the Canadian Red Cross. It is a program called “Bug Out”. It includes activity books for kids and lesson plans for teachers for grades K – 8th grade. It also includes a very cool booklet designed for families.
The curriculum content includes:
- What do you know about germs? (bacteria, viruses, etc.)
- Hand hygiene (one of my favorites!)
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Vaccination and social distancing
- Games and other interactive “bug” activities!
All are available on line and are a simple download. Include these on your company H1N1 website and promote them to your staff for home education.
Another great site for teachers is called Teacher Planet. This site also has the Bug Out booklets but also some nice one page coloring pages on cough hygiene and a one page quick overview of the flu with a short quiz at the bottom for teaching kids (probably adults too!).
AN EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTORS FIRST-PERSON VIEW OF SWINE FLU OUTBREAK FROM THE TRENCHES
This interesting story was in the Cleveland Ohio newspaper (Cleveland.com) describing the volume of patients that are being seen in the emergency departments in that city. Here are a few excerpts…the link below is to the article so you may read the complete story by Dr. Diane Gorgas.
“Everyday the tide comes in faster and we struggle to stay afloat. Today, I have called in as an extra physician to work because in 30 minutes, 12 new patients have signed in to be seen, all with Influenza-related presentations. They are as varied as any 12 patients can be presenting to the ER, with regards to age, gender, baseline health status, socioeconomic standing, and level of acuity or simply put, how sick they are.
But the thread that ties them together is the 2009 H1N1 outbreak.
“We have seen pandemics before. About three times a century, a pandemic strikes. Whereas all pandemics are frightening, this one is unique in its severity. H1N1 is highly contagious, but so far has a low virulence (easy to catch, hard to get really sick from it). The inevitable fever, cough, muscle aches, low back pain and fatigue make you feel like you want to die, but generally it will pass.
That is, unless you fall into a high-risk category.
But so far, it’s not a bad killer, right?
So far, yes. The virus will change though, and should we face an outbreak like the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, projected numbers could see tens of millions of hospitalizations and deaths occurring.
And it is ramping up fast. Universities are reporting thousands of cases with the start of fall term.
So I look at the list of patients I’m being asked to see.
Who will get tested? Who will get prophylaxis to prevent disease after exposure to a known source? Who will get treated just based on symptoms? Who will be hospitalized? Who will need breathing support or an ICU bed? Who will be well enough to go home and be isolated, and who will be quarantined.
How many work days will be lost? And which of my staff will be out after becoming infected themselves? And with the vaccine lagging behind this initial surge, how long will I stave off the same fate?
One pandemic in a lifetime is enough for me.”