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TODAY news for Thursday, June 30, 2008

School of Public Health news

SPH conducts health education at Mexican Consulate

Andrea Champlin, MPH
Andrea Champlin, MPH, teaches (from left) Angel Ramirez, Jos� Lopez, and Giovanni Gudi�o how long it takes to get hands properly clean during a health education event at the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino.
The School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Preparedness recently reached out to help clients of the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino.

During the week of May 19–23, the Consulate hosted several area organizations that gave talks to clients about topics ranging from anger management to sexually transmitted diseases.

Andrea Champlin, MPH, and Walleska Bliss, MPH, represented LLU’s Center for Public Health Preparedness. They each spoke May 22 and 23 on the topic of pandemic influenza precautions.

Ms. Bliss provided an overview of pandemic influenza, including both the history of past worldwide outbreaks and the current status of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

H5N1 has infected humans in 14 countries, causing death in 63 percent of cases, according to the World Health Organization. If the virus were to mutate into a form that can easily spread from human to human, another flu pandemic could occur.

Ms. Bliss shared tips to reduce the risk of catching influenza in the event of a pandemic. These include having a three-month supply of food, water, and medications in order to avoid contact with infected persons outside the home.

She reminded the crowd that El tiempo de planificar, preparar, y actuar es ahora: The time to plan, prepare, and act is now.

Ms. Champlin’s presentation covered the symptoms of influenza in children, preventing the spread of the flu, and how to take care of a person suffering from the flu.

With the help of children who volunteered, she demonstrated how long it takes to get hands clean; hands should be washed or rubbed with hand sanitizer for 20 seconds, or the length of time it takes to sing the “happy birthday” song twice.

Ms. Champlin also demonstrated how to use salt, sugar, and water to prepare a solution that treats dehydration.

The Center for Public Health Preparedness conducts ongoing pandemic influenza education to various area groups in order to minimize a pandemic’s impact on the country’s health system, as well as social and economic infrastructure.

The Center for Public Health Preparedness is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The center partners with health departments, community organizations, and faith-based organizations to ensure preparedness for all public health hazards. Altogether, there are 27 CDC-designated Centers for Public Health Preparedness in the United States.

By Heather Reifsnyder

TODAY news for Thursday, June 30, 2008