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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

“If You Get Sick, Pledge To Yourself: ‘This Germ Stops With Me.’ Don’t Pass It Forward”

October 11th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Michael Coston at the Avian Flu Diary had another helpful post today in which he highlighted a good citizen H1N1 prevention idea from Seattle’s Carol Dunn (also a terrific preparedness resource).

She suggests that when it comes to the flu every American should make this commitment: “If you get sick, pledge to yourself: ‘This germ stops with me.’ Don’t pass it forward.” In his post, Coston writes:

“Yesterday, on Twitter, this `tweet’ came across my desktop from @Caroldn. It was so good, I immediately re-tweeted it.

“A simple enough message. Yet – if we all followed this advice – we could substantially reduce the impact of this pandemic virus practically overnight. You see, this novel H1N1 virus needs fresh, susceptible hosts in order to survive. Each person who gets infected, on average, ends up passing on the virus to between 1.5 to 2.0 other people. If we can reduce that number, we slow the pandemic. We break the chain of infection. Which means, if you are sick. Please stay home.”


Of course, for some workers — who may fear losing their jobs or being docked pay — staying home may not seem like a viable option, particularly if they can physically make it into the workplace. However, hopefully, employers increasingly will be making special allowances including sick leave in the event of a major outbreak. Because as Coston points out, “the marginal gain you might get out of having that person working isn’t worth the risk of their infecting other employees or your customers.”

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Tags: Pandemic Flu · Preparedness Ideas

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Preparedness Pro // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    What a great post. Wouldn’t that have a huge affect in the way the swine flu is spreading if people just stayed home to nurse themselves back to health?

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