Emergency Preparedness – UNITED SIKHS Blog http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thinking About Volunteering in Haiti? Get Your Vaccinations Now. http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/01/thinking-about-volunteering-in-haiti-get-your-vaccinations-now/ Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:13:15 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=681 Before volunteers leave for Haiti, you should already be up to date on
your regular vaccinations such as MMR, DPT, polio, etc., and at
minimum, get vaccinations for:
Hepatitis A

All of these vaccinations are normally available from your State for
FREE, and all you have to do is walk into a clinic.

You also should have malaria prophylactics, and if at all possible
typhoid vaccination, which may or may not be available.

For New York, call the New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene’s Immunization Hotline at (212) 676-2323. They’ll give you
your closest clinic. If you say you’re going to Haiti, they’ll say we
don’t do travel vaccinations. Just tell them clearly that you need
these above, and they should tell you where to go.

And also ReliefWeb’s guidance for relief workers:

Sikh Aid: A Guide for Parents on “Flu” by CDC http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/sikh-aid-a-guide-for-parents-on-flu/ Wed, 29 Apr 2009 21:27:51 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=229
29th April 2009:  Below is an essential guide recommended for parents by the Center For Disease Control. 
We advise the readers to
1) Print the Guide for Parents and place it in the local Gurdwaras

2) Address the sangat on what this and what precautions need to be taken by parents.

Prabhjit Singh
Sikh-Aid Coordinator, Southern Region


A Guide For Parents
The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that is caused by influenza virus. The flu can spread from person to person. Most people with flu are sick for about a week, but then feel better. However, some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and some can die.

What is the flu?
What are the symptoms of the flu?

Most people with the flu feel tired and have fever (usually high), headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and sore muscles. Some people, especially children, may also have stomach problems and diarrhea. Cough can last two or more weeks.
People that have the flu usually cough, sneeze, and have a runny nose. This makes droplets with virus in them. Other people can get the flu by breathing in these droplets, getting them in their nose or mouth, or touching contaminated surfaces.

How does the flu spread?
How long can a sick person spread the flu to others?
Healthy adults may be able to spread the flu from 1 day before getting sick to up to 5 days after getting sick. This can be longer in children and in people who don’t fight disease as well (people with weakened immune systems).
A flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu. CDC recommends that all children from the ages of 6 months up to their 19th birthday get a flu vaccine every fall or winter (children getting a vaccine for the first time need two doses).
•Flu shots can be given to children 6 months and older.
• A nasal-spray vaccine can be given to healthy children 2 years and older (children under 5 years old who have had wheezing in the past year or any child with chronic health problems should get the flu shot).
You can protect your child by getting a flu vaccine for yourself too. Also encourage your child’s close contacts to get a flu vaccine. This is very important if your child is younger than 5 or has a chronic health problem like asthma (breathing disease) or diabetes (high blood sugar levels).

How can I protect my child from the flu? Is there medicine to treat the flu?
There are antiviral drugs for children 1 year and older that can make your child feel better and get better sooner. But these drugs need to be approved by a doctor. They should be started during the first 2 days that your child is sick for them to work best. Your doctor can discuss with you if these drugs are right for your child.
What Can YOU Do?
1. Take time to get a flu vaccine and get your child vaccinated too.
2. Take everyday steps to prevent the spread of germs. This includes:
•Clean your hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes
•Tell your child to:
– Stay away from people who are sick
– Clean hands often
– Keep hands away from face
– Cover coughs and sneezes to protect others (it’s best to use a tissue andthrow it away).

How else can I protect my child against flu?
What should I use for hand cleaning?
Washing hands with soap and water (for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice) will help protect your child from many different germs. When soap and water are not available, wipes or gels with alcohol in them can be used (the gels should be rubbed into your hands until they are dry).
Consult your doctor and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks a lot of fluids. If your child is older than 2 years, you can buy medicine (over-the-counter) without a prescription that might make your child feel better. Be careful with these medicines and follow the instructions on the package. But never give aspirin or medicine that has aspirin in it to children or teenagers who may have the flu.

What can I do if my child gets sick?
Call or take your child to a doctor right away if your child:
•has a high fever or fever that lasts a long time
•has trouble breathing or breathes fast
•has skin that looks blue
•is not drinking enough
• seems confused, will not wake up, does not want to be held, or has seizures (uncontrolled shaking)
•gets better but then worse again
•has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes) that get worse
What if my child seems very sick? Can my child go to school if he or she is sick?

No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children.

Should my child go to school if other children are sick?
It is not unusual for some children in school to get sick during the winter months. If many children get sick, it is up to you to decide whether to send your child to school. You might want to check with your doctor, especially if your child has other health problems.

When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
Keep your child home from school until his or her temperature has been normal for 24 hours. Remind your child to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing, to protect others (you may want to send some tissue and wipes or gels with alcohol in them to school with your child).
Courtesy: Center for Disease and Control: www.cdc.gov/flu

Swine Flu: New Jersey: DHSS sends health alert to NJ schools and child care settings http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/swine-flue-new-jersey-dhss-sends-health-alert-to-nj-schools-and-child-care-settings/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/swine-flue-new-jersey-dhss-sends-health-alert-to-nj-schools-and-child-care-settings/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2009 04:29:37 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=169 April 27, 2009, New Jersey: The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has sent a health alert to New Jersey schools and child care settings asking them to be on increased watch for influenza-like cases in the upcoming weeks.

Please visit the following link to access the full press release:

http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/swine-flue-new-jersey-dhss-sends-health-alert-to-nj-schools-and-child-care-settings/feed/ 2
Action Alert: Update on Swine Flue http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2009/04/action-alert-updates-on-swine-flue/ Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:59:13 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=160 26th April, 2009:  Answers to questions on what, where and how, the Swine Flue impacts us are answered below by the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for Principals.
By Dr Jogesh Kaur Syalee

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Swine Influenza: Information for Principals
What is swine influenza?
Swine flu is a respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that regularly cause outbreaks in pigs. There have been reports of serious illness and deaths due to swine flu in Mexico, but the recently confirmed cases in the United States have been mild.

What are the symptoms of swine influenza?
Swine flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, lethargy, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu
If parents ask whether it is safe for their child to attend school, what should I say?
So far only one school, St. Francis Preparatory in Queens, is closed. There is no reason for anyone else to keep healthy children at home. If a child has fever or a respiratory illness they should be kept home from school until they have recovered.

What should I do if a student is sick?
The student should be evaluated by the nurse. If the nurse believes that the student may have influenza, the child should be separated from other students and sent home. The student should not take the school bus. Students with symptoms of flu should not return to school until they have been symptom-free for 1 to 2 days.

What should I do if a school employee has flu symptoms?
The person should go home and not return to school until 1-2 days after they become symptom free.

What cleaning measures are needed if a child or staff member is ill?
Hard surfaces that may have been contaminated by the ill child should be cleaned with disinfectant. If a child is ill, there is no need to clean the entire school.
Is swine influenza treatable?
Yes. Antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms). It is particularly important for people who have severe illness and for those with underlying illness (such as diabetes, heart, or lung disease) to be treated.

How does swine influenza spread?
Swine flu viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human-to-human transmission is also possible, and appears to be occurring with this outbreak. Spread is mainly through coughing or sneezing. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
How can I protect myself from swine influenza?
Here are the best ways to avoid getting or spreading swine influenza:
Encourage all people to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people
If you get sick, limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
These are the same protections as those for seasonal flu and many other respiratory infections.
Whom should I call if I have a question?
Speak to your school nurse or nursing supervisor. If needed, the nurse will call the central School Health office for additional advice.
April 26, 2009