It’s not a matter of if, but when a pandemic will occur. Flu and other type of pandemics have happened throughout history.
Three flu pandemics happened in the 1900s. Near the end of World War I, the 1918 Flu Pandemic was the most severe flu pandemic of the century. It killed about 675,000 people in the United States and between 20 to 50 million people around the world. I know that several people in my own family died during this pandemic.
This year the H1N1 swine flu is back. This has already resulted in deaths in some states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently reported that the flu is in full swing nationally. The latest CDC figures from the final week of 2013 show widespread flu activity in 25 states, including the Pacific Northwest and Nevada, and most of the country’s biggest states, including Texas, New York and Illinois.
How to avoid the flu
The government advises you to get a flu shot, I will not advise you one way or the other, but I did not get one. Instead, I work to strengthen my immune system.
Know the signs and avoid people who are sick. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Sometimes there can be vomiting and diarrhea.
Take all possible preventive actions. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid contact with sick people. If you have flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Keep sick kids home from school if they have the flu. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid spreading germs by not touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Drink plenty of fluids and get bed rest.
What to do if a flu pandemic occurs
The following are some guidelines put out by the LDS Church several years ago. They mention the avian flu which was the big concern at the time. However, the suggestions on how to handle a pandemic still apply.
One additional thing that I would add is to have enough food and water readily available in your home to feed your family for at least three weeks in addition to the supplies that they suggested. You may have to bug in and avoid contact with others.