I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet, so I couldn’t resist reading this article (found via slashdot.org)
I don’t want to debate whether or not flu vaccines work. I’m more concerned with the other underlying flaws in the US response to the H1N1. What else can people do to minimize their risk, beyond social isolation and frequent hand-washing? And what do we do if we become sick – how do we make sure to get to the emergency room when it’s actually most important?
I wish the article went further in three areas: effectiveness of other mechanisms to reduce the spread of flu (specifically hand santizers and spray germ killers like Lysol); how to prepare for self-quarantine; and symptoms that you should go to the emergency room NOW before it’s too late.
The San Francisco-based 72 Hours website provides basic emergency preparedness information, including a page about “Contagious Disease.”
Current CDC guidance says people should stay home until 24 hours after the end of their fever (without the aid of fever-reducers). This may be considerably longer than three days, so plan accordingly.
The CDC also has a list of emergency signs online. At the bottom of this page there is also a hyperlink about how to care for someone who is sick in a way that minimizes your own chances of becoming ill.
I still haven’t found information about how effective hand santizers and disinfectants *really* are, but the CDC does have a page describing specific scenarios when a face mask / respirator may be helpful.