Advice for Fighting Spread of Avian Flu

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Health officials are urging Americans to begin preparing now for the possible bird flu pandemic.

The American Red Cross suggests preparing for a 10-day period of remaining in the home. During this time, water and power supplies could be interrupted, as well as other services.

It is recommended that you have at least one gallon of water for each family member per day. A family of four would need 40 gallons of water available to them.

Begin storing non-perishable food items. Canned goods that don't need to be heated are best. Additional items such as peanut butter, crackers, and other foods with a long shelf life are also suggested. Don't forget about extra food for the family pet.

Additional prescription medication should be obtained and a supply of over the counter medications for fever, upset stomach, and cold and flu medications. You will also need additional fluids such as Gatorade, should someone get sick.

Remember to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently and keep your home clean. In the event of an outbreak, minimize contact with other people. Should a member of your family become ill, isolate that person in a certain part of the home.

If you have flu-like symptoms, or think you may be getting sick, do not force yourself to go to work. You could contaminate the entire office.