According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the 1918 pandemic (H1N1 virus- influenza), infected an estimated 500 million people or 1/3 of the worlds population. This virus claimed the lives of 50 million, with 675, 000 being in the United States.
Scientists began working very quickly to come up with a vaccine to slow down the spread of this horrible virus. People were encouraged to take precautions as in this picture. It was almost 30 years later before the yearly flu vaccine was started because the virus continued to change. CDC continues to recommend annual flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months and older, with a higher dose for those people over 65.
Public health recommendations from the Illustrated Current News
Early 2020 the World Health Organization announced the beginning of another pandemic naming it coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Once again, the CDC put out recommendations of wearing a face covering, social distancing, and washing your hands often. COVID-19 continued to spread taking many victims in its path.
Never in American history have the states implemented shutdowns to prevent the spread of a virus. Millions of Americans found themselves out of work and according to Bureau of Labor Statistics over 11 million Americans were unemployed by the end of 2020.
Per CDC statistics, as of February 24, 2023, there have been 674,678,560 COVID- 19 cases worldwide with 6,868,577 deaths worldwide. In the United States 103,085,701 cases reported and 1,125,365 deaths reported. Here in Arkansas, there have been 1,003,809 cases reported and 12,966 deaths to date, in Oklahoma there have been 1,284,450 cases reported and 16,336 deaths to date.
COVID-19 continued to spread; scientists began working quickly to make a vaccine to slow this virus down. However, just like the influenza of 1918, COVID-19 continues to change. In January 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed an annual Covid vaccine. No decisions have been made on this subject as of now.
The staff of the dialysis center will continue to use extra precautions to continue to slow the spread of all airborne viruses by:
- requiring face coverings by all patients and staff in the patient areas
- limiting all visitors to the lobby area
- requesting that all patients wash their hands with soap and water upon arrival and departing the treatment areas
- assessing the patients for fever and cough, isolating them away from the other patients
How can you help slow the spread?
- Continue to wear the face covering when out in a large group of people
- Wash your hands frequently
- Get your vaccine
- Let your healthcare worker know if you have been running fever or have a cough
- Come to all your treatments and wear your mask properly during your treatment
We never want to repeat the history from the coronavirus disease pandemic again, so do your part and your dialysis staff will do theirs.