The Flu Pandemic and You: A Canadian Guide

Paperback | September 26, 2006

byVincent Lam, Colin LeeForeword byMargaret Atwood

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An essential survival guide – both to pandemic influenza, and to the hype surrounding it.

Written by an emergency physician and a public health physician, The Flu Pandemic and You is a frank and clear book about how to prepare for the next influenza pandemic, and how to understand the broader context in which the threat exists.

With cool heads and great professional expertise, the authors describe the history of influenza pandemics, the scientific reasons for the current health concern, the effects a pandemic would have, and the steps governments are likely to take when, not if, it hits. Drs. Lam and Lee carefully explain how readers can assess their level of risk, and set out practical advice on how an individual can prepare for a pandemic and maximize their chances of living through it. They draw on the latest evidence and their experience of the SARS outbreak of 2003. The Flu Pandemic and You develops a lucid framework to help people respond to the latest news stories about avian flu, and understand the current media anxiety about influenza in the context of the risks we all face in our daily lives.

This crucially important book, full of reasoned, knowledgeable advice, is an indispensable handbook for fearful times.

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From the Publisher

An essential survival guide – both to pandemic influenza, and to the hype surrounding it.Written by an emergency physician and a public health physician, The Flu Pandemic and You is a frank and clear book about how to prepare for the next influenza pandemic, and how to understand the broader context in which the threat exists. With coo...

Dr. Vincent Lam is an emergency physician. He has contributed to The Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Life Magazine. His work also includes expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships. Dr. Colin Lee is a public health physician and an emergency physician. He serves on a number of infectious disease control committees at ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 5 × 0.9 inPublished:September 26, 2006Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385662777

ISBN - 13:9780385662772

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Chapter 8Things To Do In Everyday Life To Limit The Spread Of InfluenzaThis Chapter In One Page . . .• Influenza infects your body through your mucous membranes: your nose, mouth, and eyes.• Good handwashing and good cough and sneeze etiquette are always wise habits to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting any infection, and they are crucial to protecting your health during a pandemic. Be a good example for your children.• “Social distancing” and trying to stay more than 1 metre away from people will decrease your risk of spreading or contracting influenza during a pandemic.• Use a mask if you need to be less than 1 metre from a person who is ill with influenza, or if you must be in a crowd during Phase 6 of a pandemic. If you can, it’s even better to avoid crowds at this time.• If you are going to be handling the bodily fluids or secretions of someone who is ill with influenza, wash your hands even more and consider wearing gloves. • Choosing how to go about your daily life during a pandemic means striking a balance between an activity’s risk of exposing you to influenza, and whether that activity is essential for you.• Cooperate with any containment measures in your community if they are used. They are well understood to be disruptive and therefore won’t be used unless they are felt to be important.Chapter 4Will History Repeat Itself? Influenza Pandemics Over The CenturiesThis Chapter In One Page . . .• Influenza pandemics have occurred repeatedly over the centuries.• There were three pandemics in the 20th century. The first one was especially devastating, and the other two were much milder.• In 1976, a pandemic was predicted, and a mass immunization campaign was undertaken in the United States to respond to this risk. The feared pandemic did not occur.• SARS gave the world a recent taste of a global infectious disease outbreak. The rapid containment of SARS was an international public health success but does not guarantee a similar degree of success with an influenza pandemic.• Some lessons from the influenza pandemics of the 20th century:1. Pandemics often give some warning before doing their worst damage.2. Pandemics tend to feature a “signature age shift,” meaning that younger adults become seriously ill and die in greater proportion than in seasonal influenza epidemics.3. Pandemics tend to feature a rapid surge in the number of ill people.4. The pandemics of the 20th century have given us knowledge and insight to be able to respond more meaningfully to future pandemics.5. Honest and clear communication is the cornerstone of an effective response to a pandemic.Food and Emergency Supplies to StockpileSome food and non­perishables• Rice, lentils, beans, other grains• Canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups• Sugar, salt, and pepper• High­energy, protein, or fruit bars• Dry cereal or granola• Peanut butter or nuts• Dried fruit• Crackers• Canned juices• Bottled water• Specialized food for infants, elderly people, or persons with medical conditionsSome medical and other emergency supplies• Prescribed medications• Necessary medical equipment such as glucose test strips and needles for diabetics• Soap and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer or cleanser• “Comfort” medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and Gravol• Thermometer• Multivitamins• Contraceptives• Oral rehydration fluids or powder• Soap and detergent for clothes and dishes• Flashlight• Batteries• Candles and matches• Extra fuel for car, portable stove, or wood stove• Portable radio (preferably windup)• Manual can opener• Garbage bags• Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers• Telephone that does not require an electrical outlet• Surgical or procedure masks (not expensive N95 masks or respirators) and gloves• First aid kit• Cash• Bicycle• Extra warm clothing and blankets

Table of Contents

Foreword by Margaret Atwood
 
1 Introduction
2 The Influenza Pandemic: What It Is, Why It Matters
3 Seasonal, Avian, and Pandemic Influenza: The Key Links
4 Will History Repeat Itself? Influenza Pandemics over the Centuries
5 Phases of a Pandemic: How a Pandemic Comes to Be
6 Containing the Virus
7 Making Preparations for Surviving a Pandemic
8 Things to Do in Everyday Life to Limit the Spread of Influenza
9 Caring for Others During a Pandemic
10 The Importance of Animal Health to Human Health
11 The Race for a Pandemic Vaccine
12 The Truth About Antiviral Medications
13 It’s Not So Simple: Ethical Dilemmas During an Influenza Pandemic
14 Practical Problems of an Influenza Pandemic
15 Conclusion
 
Resources
References
Permissions
Acknowledgements
Index