As the outbreak caused by the H1N1 Flu (swine-origin influenza) virus continues to grow in the United States, St. John’s Lutheran Church is refining plans to address how the church will respond should this outbreak affect its ability to carry out its missions of ministry and outreach. It is also important for you to have and routinely review your individual and family emergency response plan.
Symptoms of H1N1 Flu are similar to seasonal flu and include fever plus a cough or sore throat and runny nose, congestion, headache, chills or fatigue. Also note younger children may develop diarrhea and vomiting.
To protect your family and others against the spread of the H1N1 virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take these simple but important steps:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. When soap and water aren’t available an alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with those who have symptoms of flu.
- If you get sick with flu symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- If you or family members seek medical care due to symptoms above, please call your healthcare provider in advance.
- Maintain a healthy state of mind: utilize tools for coping with disaster for adults, parents, children, students, and seniors.
- Review and update important contact and family emergency numbers and keep them handy.
The latest information on the H1N1 Flu is available on County and State Health Department web pages such as:
- Fairfax County, Virginia
- Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County H1N1 Pandemic Flu portal page
- District of Columbia
- Prince William County
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Also see: “H1N1 Flu (Swine) and You” which was distributed Sunday on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/swineflu_you.htm.