Friday, June 19, 2009

How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects

How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?

As per CDC - Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.
Ref: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fluview Surveillance Reports - CDC Swine Flu Updates

FluView Surveillance Reports

The most recent report on Swine Flu by the CDC can always be found on the FluView Weekly Surveillance Report page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy During the Pandemic

As per the CDC, stay informed. The website http://cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.

Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Novel H1N1 Flu Situation Update

Weekly Influenza Activity Estimates Reported by State and Territorial Epidemiologists [Activity levels indicate geographic spread of both seasonal and novel influenza A (H1N1) viruses] - Map can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm

A Pandemic Is Declared

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. A Phase 6 designation indicates that a global pandemic is underway.

More than 70 countries are now reporting cases of human infection with novel H1N1 flu. This number has been increasing over the past few weeks, but many of the cases reportedly had links to travel or were localized outbreaks without community spread. The WHO designation of a pandemic alert Phase 6 reflects the fact that there are now ongoing community level outbreaks in multiple parts of world.

WHO’s decision to raise the pandemic alert level to Phase 6 is a reflection of the spread of the virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus.
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/

Friday, June 12, 2009

How Can I Tell if I Have A Mold Problem?

Answer from www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Read the publication, "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" at www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html [EPA 402-K-02-003]

Una Breve Guía para el Moho, la Humedad y su Hogar está disponible en el formato PDF www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide_sp.pdf Documento de la agencia EPA número 402-K-03-008.

Read the publication "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings at www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html [EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001]
Mold Resources are available at www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html