Health-Related Disasters


Epidemic: An epidemic-level disaster rapidly spreads to a large number of people within a given community or area. Disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours which makes controlling an epidemic challenging in today’s world of global travel. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an example of an epidemic that infected hundreds of people in late 2002 and early 2003.

Pandemic: A pandemic-level disaster affects a much larger region, sometimes the entire world. The H1N1 flu is an example of a pandemic that swept the globe in 2009.


Tips for Staying Healthy and Preventing the Spread of Disease

 

  • Clean Hands are Crucial
    • Wash your hands carefully, giving them your full attention. Viruses, bacteria and fungi are easily transferred to your hands and from there to your eyes, nose and mouth where they gain access to your body.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. If you have an itch, watery eyes or runny nose, use a tissue or clean cloth.
    • Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing.
    • Wash your hands after being in public places where you touched hand rails, doors, shopping carts or anything else the general public touches. Viruses and bacteria can remain for up to four hours after an infected person has sneezed or coughed on something.
    • Wash your hands before eating and preparing food; wash your hands during and after eating or working with food.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. If you have an itch, watery eyes or runny nose, use a tissue or clean cloth.
    • Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing.
    • Wash your hands after being in public places where you touched hand rails, doors, shopping carts or anything else the general public touches. Viruses and bacteria can remain for up to four hours after an infected person has sneezed or coughed on something.
    • Wash your hands before eating and preparing food; wash your hands during and after eating or working with food.
    • Wash your hands up to your wrists and under your fingernails with warm water and soap. Scrub for at least 20 seconds…sing a jingle to yourself to help count the seconds like, “I wash away the negative about myself and others” three times slowly to your favorite tune.
  • Keep your immunizations up to date
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Travel wisely
    • Be aware of the risks of infection in the places you are travelling to.
    • Talk to your doctor about any vaccinations you should have against the native pathogens of the area you are travelling to.
    • Protect yourself against disease vectors such as mosquitos by sleeping in mosquito netting, using bug spray and wearing long sleeve shirts.
  • Take antibiotics only when necessary
  • Stop smoking – smoking increases the risk of infection. 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) -

The latest updates and information (también en español)

www.lanecountyor.gov/coronavirus