A Flu pandemic or global outbreak has captured a great deal of attention lately. Many experts believe a global influenza pandemic is likely to occur someday, but no one is sure when it will happen. It is important to understand what communities are doing and what you should do to protect yourself during a pandemic crisis.
Some of you may remember the "Asian flu" outbreak during the late 1950's or more recently "Hong Kong flu" in 1968. These two influenza events ranged from severe, with loss of life to a mild flu pandemic, with only flu like symptoms.
If an epidemic/pandemic does occur, we may experience temporary closing of schools and businesses, cancellation of events, possible disruption of normal services such as utilities and possible shortages.
How can you prepare? The fastest and easiest way to learn what to do is by visiting the Web sites listed below or by calling the Butler County or Ohio health departments:
Butler County Health Department
301 S. Third Street
Hamilton, OH 45011
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
P.O. Box 118
Columbus, Ohio 43216
Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.
Avian (or bird) flu is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among wild birds. The H5N1 variant is deadly to domestic fowl and can be transmitted from birds to humans. There is no human immunity and no vaccine is available.
Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person. Currently, there is no pandemic flu.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
For personal/family preparedness
For business preparedness
For school preparedness
Childcare/Preschool - www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/child_care.pdf
K-12 - www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/schoolchecklist.pdf
Colleges & Universities - ww.pandemicflu.gov/plan/pdf/colleges_universities.pdf
For healthcare providers
Every second counts in any emergency.
While Fairfield's Fire Department can have paramedics on the scene of an emergency within a few minutes, they are often not the first to arrive.
Recognizing the importance of immediate action in critical cardiac situations, the fire department facilitated the placement of, and training for, automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in public facilities and in each police cruiser.
The devices analyze cardiac rhythms and, if necessary, deliver an electronic shock to a patient in an effort to correct a serious heart condition. After administering a shock, the AED monitors a patient's response to determine if additional pulses are needed.
Each Fairfield police officer and select staff members at city facilities have received special training with the AEDs. When paramedics arrive, lifesaving equipment and information is already available to give emergency crews a head start on care.
Related Link: Safety sleeve form (PDF)
The Fairfield Fire Department’s "safety sleeve" program is designed to provide fire department emergency medical personnel with vital patient medical information, even if the victim is unconscious.
The Fire Department provides at no cost, a vinyl sleeve to any resident. The sleeves contain a separate medical sheet for each member of the household and are held by a magnet to your refrigerator.
If emergency medical services are called to your home, they will be able to quickly and efficiently gather all the necessary background medical history, including allergies to medications, preferred hospital, emergency contacts and all current prescription medication information.
For more information or to obtain a "safety sleeve," please call the Fairfield Fire Department at 513-867-5379.