Experts warn that we are all at risk from a global outbreak of flu. A disease outbreak that spreads worldwide is called a pandemic. Flu pandemics happen every 30 years, on average. The last one was in 1968.
There is no flu pandemic at this time. But the risk of one is growing. We all need to do our share to help prevent one. You can start with these five simple steps.
The flu is spread by coughing and sneezing. When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve. Throw your used tissue in the garbage.
The flu virus can live for up to 48 hours on objects we touch everyday, like door handles, faucets, and light switches.
It takes only 20 seconds to wash your hands properly and get rid of the germs. Wet your hands, make a soapy lather, rinse off with warm running water, and dry your hands well. Use a hand gel if you are not near soap and water.
This way, if you have germs on your hands you donít give them a chance to get into your body and start the flu.
Youíll reduce your chance of catching the flu. Contact your doctor or local public health unit for information.
If you do catch the flu, stay home and rest. This will help your body to fight the flu. It will also mean you donít pass it on to others.
It is not a question of if another flu pandemic will happen but when and how serious it will be.
The next flu pandemic will change our daily life, make many of us sick, and cause some of us to die. We need to do all we can to prevent this from happening. We can start with these simple steps.
For more information, go to www.pandemie.cpha.ca or call 1-800-454-8302.
A message from the Canadian Public Health Association.