For most healthy adults, seasonal viruses are not generally life-threatening. But as you’ve seen in the news, respiratory disease pandemics, such as those caused by coronaviruses or influenza, are something else. They often involve new strains of viruses to which people have developed no immunity. These kinds of viruses can spread quickly and widely, and they can pose a major global health threat. That’s why you need to know about acute respiratory illness pandemics and how to prepare for them.
Why “Acute Respiratory Illness Pandemics: Prevention and Response” Matters:
|Are acute respiratory illness pandemics really something to worry about? Unfortunately, yes. The likelihood of pandemics has increased over the past century due to increased global travel and changes to land use and the natural environment.
Although there are more advanced treatment options to help people prevent and recover from pandemic illnesses than in the past, such events remain serious and disruptive to everyday life. Pandemics not only pose serious health risks, but they can negatively impact businesses, travel, and community services like police and fire departments and schools. Fortunately, there are several steps to take to prevent, prepare for, and respond to acute respiratory illness pandemics.
• A pandemic is characterized by viruses that can cause illness or death; sustained person-to-person transmission of the virus; and evidence of spread throughout the world.
• Coronaviruses and influenza viruses can cause acute respiratory illness pandemics.
• You have a heightened risk of infection if you are around large groups of people, work closely with others, or are employed in certain industries like health care or airline operations.
• Cover your cough or sneeze; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Avoid close contact with coworkers who may be sick.
• If you become sick, stay home except to get medical care.