H1N1 flu. You may have noticed a significant rise in the media attention about H1N1 flu recently and wondered, “What is all the fuss about?” H1N1 flu case numbers (originally referred to as the swine flu) continue to rise in Alaska….335 as of August 12th, so Alaska is preparing. And so should Cordova. It is expected that the numbers will continue to rise during the fall, as the normal fall/winter flu season approaches, and as school resumes. Symptoms vary, in different individuals, from very mild to very severe. Please refer to the city website (www.cityofcordova.net ) for updated information about H1N1. Click on the H1N1 link to get weekly updated numbers and locations of flu cases in Alaska, as well as general information about the disease.
As individual citizens, we can do much to mitigate the effects of any flu outbreak in Cordova by following the simple rules regarding respiratory diseases. Wash your hands often. Sneeze or cough into your sleeve, or use a tissue. Go home if you are sick. Educate yourselves.
If there were a high likelihood of H1N1 in Cordova, the city would put into effect the same plans that were tested earlier this year (remember the scare?). In the effort to educate the community:
- A community emergency hotline (English 424-8888, Spanish 424-8889) would dispense information about what to do if someone in your family got sick. That hotline is not activated now…but will be, if the need arises.
- A community-wide educational campaign would be initiated
- The City of Cordova website would be updated regularly with information about H1N1, as well as information regarding the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine.
Yes…plans are being implemented to distribute the H1N1 vaccine (as well as the seasonal flu vaccine). Feverish work is being done, at the federal level, to test and eventually distribute the H1N1 vaccine nationwide later this fall. It takes many months to create and manufacture a new vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine is currently being tested and many of the details/results will be forthcoming over the next few weeks. The State of Alaska is currently holding weekly teleconferences providing healthcare workers with the latest news, and the city Cordova is participating.
You should too. Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.