Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category

Blocking the Flu as You Watch the Big Football Game

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Are you ready for the big football game?  Are you ready for the flu virus if it shows up at your big game party?  This Sunday, as New England clashes with Seattle, your body may be up against its own formidable opponent—one that’s too small to be seen but packs a wallop.

Here are my “X’s and O’s” for blocking the flu on Sunday:

Sick?  Stay Home:  If you feel sick, enjoy the game alone.  Your friends will thank you and you can tune in to the plays in your pajamas!

Get a Flu Shot:  The annual seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months old and older. You may have heard that this year’s flu vaccine is only 23% effective, but not getting the vaccine takes that down to zero.  Getting a flu shot will prevent thousands of hospitalizations. The vaccine starts working about two weeks after you get it, so if you haven’t gotten it yet, it is not too late to help you ward off flu in the coming weeks.


The Water Quality and Health Council Calls for Greater Surface Disinfection to Combat Bad Hygiene During this Flu Season

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Do you cough without covering your mouth while standing in the lunch line? Or sneeze loudly into the air when squeezed onto the morning bus? Nearly all Americans (96 percent) have seen you do things like this – and a shocking three quarters (77 percent) say they are guilty themselves. Even with heightened concerns during this year’s flu season, Americans admit that sleeves are a fine substitute for tissues; one in four wipes their nose on them. One in ten is even more gross; skipping sleeves altogether in favor of hands to wipe their nose and then… extending for a handshake or reaching for a door handle.

A recent survey by the Water Quality and Health Council shows that despite constant warnings from health officials and a recent study showing a 31 percent chance of infection through hand contact with contaminated surfaces, few Americans frequently clean the public surfaces they use. At the same time, not many have faith that others are cleaning them either. Regardless of this, just one in ten is inclined to do the job themselves.

Knowing that flu viruses can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or even days should motivate people to take personal responsibility to protect themselves; disinfecting surfaces when feasible, using disinfecting wipes or chlorine bleach – especially at home and at work – as well as washing hands and practicing good personal hygiene habits. Contacting school administrators, office managers and even health club managers will help you understand their cleaning and disinfecting protocol and how you can better safeguard against the flu.

To help people prevent the spread of H1N1, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping surfaces clean by wiping them down with a disinfectant according to the directions on the product label. Also, in addition to cleaning surfaces, the CDC advises a number of helpful tips. For more information on how to prevent the spread of H1N1 through surface disinfection, please visit

Dr. Ralph’s Flu Preparedness Closet

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

What will you need to stay healthy and secure during a pandemic flu outbreak?

Fact: A well-stocked space in your home could make all the difference.

Individuals and families should prepare for potential pandemic flu-related isolation from their communities for an extended period of time. Dr. Ralph’s Flu Preparedness Closet is a helpful checklist of what you need to have on hand.

  • Food and bottled water

Ideally, a 6-8 week supply stored in the home.

  • Portable power sources

An ample supply of energy resources (batteries, propane, etc.) to heat, light and operate necessary

home functions, including your home computer.

  • Household products and sanitary items

Paper products (Kleenex, toilet paper, paper towels), plastic products (garbage bags, re-sealable

bags), cleaning supplies, non-water hand sanitizer, personal hygiene products, etc.

  • Prescription drugs

Vital for diabetics, heart, lung and other chronic conditions that require daily medication.

  • Over-the-counter medications and first aid supplies

For the treatment of fever, fl u, colds, etc. including a fully stocked fi rst aid kit for the treatment of

minor injuries and illnesses.

  • A supply of household chlorine bleach

For use as an emergency water purifi er and to sanitize surfaces.

  • Communications equipment

A battery-operated radio and several fully charged cell phones to maintain an open information

channel with family, friends, local authorities and community information sources.

  • Home computer system/Internet services

To provide access to local, national and global news, health-related information and pandemic related news updates. Also vital to allow some individuals to continue participation at their

place of employment or school.

  • Pet supplies

Food, medication and sanitation supplies for family pets.

  • Neighborhood service directory

A directory of medical, emergency and community services and their locations.

  • Money

Without access to ATMs and banking services, cash on-hand could be necessary to replenish supplies and purchase necessary services.

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