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Public Health - About
Archive for July, 2009
Friday, July 31st, 2009

Q:   What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
A:   Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
• Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and other related items might could be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

Q:   If I have a family member at home who is sick with novel H1N1 flu, should I go to work?
A:   Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with novel H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. If they become ill, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness. For more information please see General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/workplace.htm

Q:   What should I do if I get sick?
A:   If you live in areas where people have been identified with novel H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish or gray skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Confusion
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
For more information, visit our H1N1 page on this website or www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu


Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Despite incredible improvements in health in the last 50 years, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, there are still a number of challenges that our nation and indeed our world must face:   

  • One billion people lack access to health care systems.
      
  • Around 11 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases, each year.
       
  • In 2008, almost 11 million people died of infectious diseases alone, far more than the number killed in the natural or man-made catastrophes that make headlines. (These are the latest figures presented by the World Health Organization.)
      
  • AIDS/HIV has spread rapidly. UNAIDS estimates for 2007 that there are roughly:
       
    • 32.8 million living with HIV
        
    • 2.5 million new infections of HIV
       
    • 2 million deaths from AIDS
       
  • There are 8.8 million new cases of Tuberculosis (TB) and 1.75 million deaths from TB, each year.
       
  • 1.6 million people still die from pneumococcal diseases every year, making it the number one vaccine-preventable cause of death worldwide. More than half of the victims are children. (The pneumococcus is a bacterium that causes serious infections like meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis. In developing countries, even half of those children who receive medical treatment will die. Every second surviving child will have some kind of disability.)
      
  • Malaria causes more than 300 million acute illnesses and at least 1 million deaths, annually.
      
  • More than half a million people, mostly children, died from measles in 2003 even though effective immunization costs just 0.30 US dollars per person, and has been available for over 40 years. 

 

America and North Carolina, we still have work to do!