To be prepared for such an emergency, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services encourages individuals, businesses and communities to:
- Talk with your local public health officials and health care providers, who can supply information about the signs and symptoms of a specific disease outbreak and recommend prevention and control actions.
- Adopt business/school practices that encourage sick employees/students to stay home and anticipate how to function with a significant portion of the workforce/school population absent due to illness or caring for ill family members.
- Practice good health habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest. In addition, take common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying away from others as much as possible when you are sick.
- Stay informed about pandemic influenza and be prepared to respond. Consult www.pandemicflu.gov frequently for updates on national and international information on pandemic influenza.
For more information on preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic visit the U.S Department of Health and Human Service's website at: www.pandemicflu.gov or the S.D. Department of Health website at http://flu.sd.gov/pandemic.