A Message from the Fairfax County Health Director
Fairfax County Government developed an Influenza Response Plan in July 2007 in case of a worldwide influenza outbreak – a flu pandemic. This plan details what the county will do to contain an outbreak within our community and preserve health care and critical community services to the extent possible.
On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic in response to the widespread respiratory illnesses caused by a novel swineflu origin Influenza A H1N1 virus. Influenza pandemics tend to occur in two to three waves of disease outbreaks in communities over a period of 12-18 months. The full impact of a flu pandemic on our community cannot be predicted. However, being prepared may help reduce the impact. Fairfax County Government has engaged all county agencies and surrounding cities and towns, the private sector, local hospitals, the medical community and faith-based organizations in its preparedness efforts.
Planning for pandemic flu is not just a government issue. Residents have
a responsibility to prepare themselves and their family. This reference
guide will help you understand influenza; learn how to protect yourself
and others from
catching the flu and how to limit its spread; find out how to manage illness in yourself and others; determine when to seek medical care; and know what to do to prepare yourself and family for a pandemic or other emergencies that might
disrupt our community for an extended time.
Hand washing is the most important – and easiest – action we can take to prevent the spread of many illnesses, including influenza. Page 14 of this guide stresses hand washing and provides instructions on how and when to wash hands. My hope is that everyone learns to wash their hands properly and frequently. Please read this guide carefully and keep it for future reference in case anyone in your household becomes ill with influenza.
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health
Fairfax County Health Department