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Science

Contra Costa county flu pandemic preparedness kits

As we mentioned in the last post, theĀ Contra Costa county health department has put together a kit of forms and information to help prepare for the flu pandemic.

Before we start reviewing the kit let’s look at the disclaimer they have on their site:

Pandemic flu is a particular kind of flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness that spreads easily from person to person. While most people have some immunity to various strains of seasonal flu, flu viruses are constantly changing and producing new strains. When a virus emerges that is so different from previous strains that few, if any, people have any immunity to it, the impact is more severe and widespread than with seasonal flu. There is no flu pandemic at this time.

I love it. Let’s scare you, but remember, there is no flu pandemic. Ok, let’s review their kit.

Let’s start with their Process section. It has a flowchart for handling school responses to the flu pandemic. I was relieved to see that, “run out of the building screaming” wasn’t listed. The flowchart is, how shall I say it nicely, confused. It starts off great, but runs out of steam in the end. Why use a paper process for something that screams out to be automated? Each of the levels or conditions in the chart could be a simple web page.

The rest of the Process section is pretty basic, and relies on documents put together by the government.

flu-pandemic-flow-chart

The next section is Surveillance/Reporting, which sounds ominous, but isn’t. I actually liked this section since it provides easy to use documents for auditing and tracking the student population.

They list the traits of flu like conditions including a fever of 101.5 degrees and one of the following cough, sore throat, headache, muscle ache. My issue with this is that a fever and coughing don’t a pandemic make. I know these our baselines, but still.

We’ll look at the parent information, media material and public information in the next post.