Pandemic Influenza – A Complete Guide

1 – Identifying an Influenza Outbreak

flu-outbreaks

What do you see in these pictures?
Have you seen symptoms like this in your family or community?

MAIN POINTS

• These people have influenza, also known as “the flu,” due to an outbreak in
their community.
• The symptoms of regular influenza are coughing, sneezing, runny nose, headache,
fever, fatigue and body aches. In an influenza pandemic outbreak, these symptoms
can be more severe.
• An influenza outbreak can lead to serious illness and even death.
• An influenza outbreak is especially dangerous for elderly people, pregnant women
and children under 5 years of age because they have lower levels of immunity.
• Influenza can be transmitted any time you are physically close to others who have
the virus, especially when they talk, cough, sneeze or spit.
• Influenza can also be transmitted by touching surfaces that sick people have touched and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

Why can an influenza pandemic outbreak be more dangerous than regular influenza?

2 – Wash Your Hands

wash-hands

QUESTIONS

What do you see in these pictures?
When do you wash your hands?
How do you wash your hands?

MAIN POINTS

• Washing hands with soap and water removes germs that cause the common flu and
pandemic influenza.
• Hands should be cleaned by washing with soap and water.
• If you do not use soap, the germs will not be removed.
• Wash your hands with soap and water at key times:
• Before and after preparing food
• Before and after eating
• Before and after caring for a sick person who is sick with influenza
• After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

What are the advantages of washing your hands with water and soap?
What could be the difficulties in washing hands with water and soap at key times?
What are some solutions?

3 – Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do you see in these pictures?
Is it common in your community to cover your mouth and nose when you cough
or sneeze?
When you cough or sneeze, do you cover your mouth? Your nose?

MAIN POINTS

• When people cough or sneeze, germs are sprayed into the air.
• Avoid spitting in public as that also spreads the germs.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a handkerchief to prevent the spread
of influenza.
• If you do not have a tissue or handkerchief, use the crook of your elbow to cover your cough or sneeze.
• To avoid spreading the flu:
• Dispose of tissues in a trash bin
• Wash your handkerchief with soap and water each day
• Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing or sneezing

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

What are the advantages of covering your mouth and nose when coughing
or sneezing?
What could be the difficulties of covering your mouth and nose when coughing
or sneezing?
What are some solutions?

If you do not have a tissue or handkerchief,
use the crook of your elbow!

4 – If you are sick, stay at home!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do you see in these pictures?
What do you do in your community when there is an outbreak of disease?

MAIN POINTS

• Influenza is spread by close contact with a person who has the flu.
• Influenza can spread easily in places where there are many people in close to each other,
such as markets, schools, places of worship, and social gatherings.
• Health officials will notify the community when they should:
• Stay home from school and work
• Avoid public gatherings
• Store food and emergency supplies
• Go out in public again
• Have only one person in your family to regularly go to the market, if necessary.
• The elderly, pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, and those with chronic
illness (such as TB and HIV/AIDS) may experience more severe illness associated
with influenza.
• Keep a distance of 2 meters from people, especially when they are sick.

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

What are the advantages of staying at home during an influenza outbreak?
What could be the difficulties of staying at home during an influenza outbreak?
What are some solutions?

If you are sick, avoid public gatherings!

5 – Assign only one family member as a caretaker

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do you see in these pictures?
Is it common in your community to assign one caretaker for a sick person?

MAIN POINTS

• Care for sick people at home because it is likely that health facilities will be unable to
cope with demand during a pandemic influenza outbreak.
• Assign only one family member as a caretaker for sick family members to prevent other household members from being exposed to the influenza virus.
• The sick should wear a mask or handkerchief to help prevent the spread of the disease.
• Wear a mask or handkerchief over your mouth and nose when you are close to the sick
person to prevent getting influenza.
• Limit the number of visitors to the sick person to avoid spreading influenza to them.
• Try to have separate eating and drinking utensils, towels, sheets and blankets for the
sick person to use that are not used by other family members.
• Those with severe health complications from influenza should seek care at a health
facility, if possible. Severe complications can include trouble breathing or chest pain.

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

What are the advantages of having only one family member be the caretaker for
the sick family member?
What could be the difficulties of only one person having the job of caring for the
sick person?
What are some solutions?

Limit the number of visitors to the sick person!

6- Recover in a seperate space

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do you see in these pictures?
Is this common in your community to take care of a sick person in a separate space?

MAIN POINTS

• Keep sick family members at home as soon as symptoms develop and until they fully recover, unless they experience complications and must seek care from a doctor.
Severe complications can include trouble breathing or chest pain.
• Avoid close contact with others in your household and community if you are sick
with flu.
• Create a separate space to take care of the sick person.
• Have only one person in the family tend to the sick person.
• Wash eating utensils and cups after the sick person has used them.
• Keep the sick person in a separate space until they are fully recovered.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you are sick with flu in the presence of other people.

SUMMARY QUESTIONS

Why is it important to create a separate space for taking care of the sick person?
What could be the difficulties of creating a separate space for taking care of the
sick person?
What are some solutions?

Create a separate space for a sick person!