Amid surging worries about a global pandemic, the United States launched border screening for swine flu exposure Monday and a top federal health official said people should brace for more severe cases, “and possibly deaths.”
While anyone could be susceptible to contracting swine flu, people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, are at particular risk. [TripOut has a post about gay travelers to Mexico.]
Richard Besser, acting head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed that American authorities were undertaking “passive screening” at its borders and reiterated the Obama administration’s call for people to remain calm. Besser said that U.S. officials at border checkpoints were “asking people about fever and illness, looking for people who are ill.”
Have any of your departments addressed this situation in terms of ways to protect yourselves? This situation seems to be getting worse and worse. It affected a high school not far from me. I'm avoiding my usual gym for a while. In addition to being not the cleanest place anyway, this situation is almost certain to make my gym much riskier than usual. Under normal circumstances, I risk hoof and mouth disease just by walking into the place. This makes it even worse, if that's possible. I'd carry some hand sanitizer wherever you go, whether working or off duty. Protect yourselves.
The CDC says that you have to be very careful if you eat swine. If It's undercoked it can make you sick. Does that mean that if you enjoy sucking pig, in the back room of a Washington DC bar, that will get a dose of swine flu? I hiope not!!! In any event. I'm sure that you will NOT get a dose of pride.
Post by 1dbigjim563 on Apr 29, 2009 13:43:32 GMT -5
Oh honey, you might get a dose of something, but I don't think it will be swine flu! ;D
Seriously though, while this really does have the possibility of turning into a pandemic, don't pay too much attention to the wall to wall coverage just yet. So far most of the cases have been mild, and patients seem to generally be younger than older. We all know how the media likes to jump on any thing moving and milk it for audience and circulation. I'm already amused by the breathless reporting of minor changes or no real change at all.
The virus could mutate, but for now it seems treatable. We are generally a healthier nation than the nation of origin, and our health care is certainly light years ahead of where it was during the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
So don't panic just yet.
As for back rooms here in DC... actually we don't have any real back rooms anymore, though there is the occasional dark nook or cranny, not that I know from personal experience, ahem.
I received this earlier today as part of a handout from the Chief Surgeon of the NYPD. It was edited slightly to make it more national specific to your own departments and jurisdictions. We've already had a number of people die from Swine Flu and hopefully it won't affect officers in any of our departments. Be especially careful on routine patrol and in booking areas. Posted with permission and blessings!
By now everyone is aware of the reports of Swine Flu affecting humans in Mexico, the US, NYC and in diverse areas around the world.
Swine Flu is an influenza type virus that usually affects pigs and occasionally their farmers. This new viral type (h1n1) has now been transmitted from humans to humans who have had close contact.
The symptoms of Swine Flu in humans appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu; with fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and some people report diarrhea and vomiting. Just as in seasonal flu, Swine Flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic conditions such as cardiac or respiratory diseases.
Swine Flu is spread by respiratory droplets between close contacts. It is not spread by food, nor can it be contracted by eating or handling pork products which have been properly prepared. Treatment of Swine Flu is mainly symptom guided and supportive, as in all viral illnesses, with recommendations for rest, fluid replacement, cough suppression and fever reduction. Additionally, two anti-viral agents, Tamiflu and Relenza, which have thus far not shown any resistance, taken early in the course of the illness may reduce the duration and severity of the infection.
Due to some side effects and contra-indications in young children and pregnant individuals, the advisability of anti-viral treatment and prophylaxis (for close contacts of affected individuals, healthcare workers or others), must be evaluated case by case. Decisions will depend on underlying illnesses, pre-dispositions to infection, and other risk vs. benefit criteria.
The key to containing this outbreak is careful attention to critically important infection control measures. There is good evidence that some of the simplest, low tech measures and standard flu prevention precautions can make great inroads in the spread of infections such as this. As most viruses are shed from body fluids such as saliva, tears and cough droplets, common sense precautions should include: • Avoiding touching one’s face, eyes and mouth. • Frequent hand-washing with soap and water, or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. • Covering coughs and sneezes, using a tissue, your arm, or your sleeve – not your hands. • Using and properly discarding disposable tissues. • Taking universal precautions by wearing personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves:
o When performing police duties involving individuals who are suspected of harboring a communicable respiratory disease, or have flu-like symptoms; or o When in confined quarters with such individuals for a prolonged period.
In terms of obtaining immunization against seasonal flu, though playing no role in the Swine Flu itself, the flu vaccine has been shown to be protective in a variety of respiratory infectious outbreaks.
Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms that has recently visited affected areas, or has had close contact with sick individuals from affected areas, should contact their healthcare provider, as well as their department Medical Services section for instructions.
Swine Flu is cause for concern and a time for adopting responsible infection control measures based on facts. It is not a time for rumor and panic. For any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek reliable information from your healthcare provider, the website of the Center for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov or your local municipality’s Health Department.
yeah we are very careful on new intakes. They are all screened for flu symptoms. I always wear gloves, and carry at least 20 pairs on me. always washing my hands and carry germ x with me. I also have a face mask in my pocket. After this whats next.. You have to look out for you. your number one, plus you don't want to take anything home with you. I even have gloves and germ x in my truck and bike. You never know if you have to stop and help someone. . Stay safe out there....
Captain Suffolk County Sheriff Dept. Boston, MA [My5:www.myspace.com/djdaveg1]
***This is an updated version of a document I received from the NYPD Medical division regarding the H1H1 (Swine Flu) virus. As much as possible, I’ve edited it so that it is less NYPD specific and more applicable to every department and agency. It was written by the Chief surgeon of the NYPD and deals with the latest news about Swine Flu. With permission and blessings!
H1N1 (Swine Flu) October 2009 Update
H1N1 is an influenza type A virus that has affected millions worldwide. The symptoms of H1N1 appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu; with fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue and some reports of diarrhea and vomiting. However, H1N1 appears to have more seriously affected younger age groups and has been active outside the traditional “flu season”.
H1N1 is spread by respiratory droplets between close contacts. It is not spread by food, nor can it be contracted by eating or handling pork products which have been properly prepared. Just as in seasonal flu, H1N1 may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions such as Cardiac or Respiratory diseases.
Treatment of H1N1 is mainly symptom-guided and supportive, stressing rest, fluid replacement, cough suppression and fever reduction. Additionally, two anti-viral agents, Tamiflu and Relenza, appear to be effective and when taken early in the course of the illness may reduce the duration and severity of the infection.
Due to some side effects and contra-indications in young children and pregnant individuals, anti-viral treatment and prophylaxis must be evaluated case by case. Decisions on treatment will depend on any underlying illnesses and pre-dispositions to infection and other risks.
An injectable H1N1 Vaccine is now available, produced from inactivated virus and prepared in the same manner as the Seasonal Flu vaccine and is expected to have a similar side effect profile, i.e., swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, mild aches and pains. It is recommended for: pregnant women, all health care workers, anyone who lives with or cares for children less than 6 months old, anyone 6 months through 24 years of age.
Anyone 25 through 64 years of age who has underlying health condition that increases risk of complications, such as:
Asthma or Chronic Respiratory condition Chronic heart, kidney or liver disease Hematologic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes Weakened immune system, from illness or medication, chemotherapy Neuromuscular disorders that interfere with breathing or the discharge of mucus
Long-term aspirin therapy in people under 19
The CDC now also recommends the Pneumovax pneumonia vaccine, for individuals in the above age group, with chronic underlying conditions as well as anyone over 65 years old due to the complications of bacterial pneumonia seen in previous pandemics.
***Your department should make the H1N1 vaccine available as soon as it arrives, concentrating on these priority groups, especially at commands with high risk of exposure. There is no contra-indication to taking the injectable Seasonal Influenza vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine in any order sequence.
The key to containing this outbreak is careful attention to critically important Infection Control Measures. There is good evidence that some of the simplest, low-tech measures and standard flu prevention precautions can make great inroads in the spread of infection. As most viruses are shed from body fluids such as saliva, tears and cough droplets, common sense precautions should include:
Avoiding touching one’s face, eyes and mouth. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Covering coughs and sneezes, using a tissue, your arm, or your sleeve – not your hands. Using and properly discarding disposable tissues. Taking universal precautions by wearing personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves:
When performing police duties involving individuals who are suspected of harboring a communicable respiratory disease, or have flu-like symptoms; Or, when in confined quarters with such individuals for a prolonged period.
Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms or has close contact with sick individuals should contact their healthcare provider and department medical unit for instructions.
Swine Flu is cause for concern and a time for adopting responsible infection control measures and vaccinations based on reliable facts. It is not a time for rumor and panic. For any questions or concerns, seek reliable information from your healthcare provider, and/or the website of the Center For Disease Control, www.cdc.gov .
Got my H1N1 shot today... AND the regular seasonal flu shot (which is a separate vaccine) AND the pneumonia shot (especially important for REALLY OLD folks!) I haven't been poked so many times like that in a long time. Wait... let me rephrase that,...
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE
Post by alarmallama on Nov 16, 2009 11:52:03 GMT -5
Our department got several doses of the H1N1 vaccine for us last week. I went to work on my day off to make sure that I got the shot.
I don't know what kind of trouble they are expecting, but they are asking for plain clothes officers to work overtime once they start making the vaccine available at the health clinic. I guess we'll see how it goes.
Stephen and I got our Swine Flu shots today. Better late than never !!!!
THREE CHEERS for Carroll and Stephen. Nurse Bear had "that look" - you know, the look with the raised eyebrow - wondering when you guys were getting the inoculation. I see our BluePride member Alarmallama got hers as well. Just a reminder... it's important, folks.
The "Swine Flu" can be nasty and the vaccine is in short supply. The nature of our profession is that we are in contact with many high-risk carrier-transmitters of the virus. Alarmallama was wise to go in even on her day off to get the shot. Please DO make it a priority, BluePriders! If the shot (or the nasal spray) is available to you, GET IT!
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE