H1N1: Texans with Disabilities Prepare for Pandemic Influenza

The Texas Governor's Committee recently posted a survey to help Texans with Disabilities prepare for H1N1 Flu. If you haven't taken the five to seven minute survey: H1N1: Texans with Disabilities Prepare for Pandemic Influenza, http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/h1n1/ (English & Spanish) I would like to encourage you to do so and forward to a friend with a disability. It will be available till October 31st online. For a large print copy or to take the survey over the phone, call 512-463-5739. Every Texan can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. Having a plan is vital to help you:

  • Prepare for the possible challenges of a pandemic or other emergency
  • Get the information and resources that will be helpful to you
  • Prepare you, your loved ones and/or caregivers for what might happen

We happily will provide paper copies to any person who does not have access to the internet. If you would like us to mail you copies with self addressed return envelopes, we are happy to do that. Or, you can download the attached Word survey and information resources and distribute to people with disabilities in your community. Your partnership is greatly appreciated in the distribution of our survey and resources to the public. The information results will be posted and available in November of 2009.

Our mailing address is: 
Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
1100 San Jacinto, Suite 1.200
Austin, Texas 78701

Survey_of_Personal_Preparedness_FINAL_SPANISH.doc 66 KB

Survey_of_Personal_Preparedness_FINAL_ENGLISH.doc 67 KB

Texans_Preparing_for_Pandemic_Influenza_Spanish.doc 100 KB

Texans_Preparing_for_Pandemic_Influenza-English.doc 85KB

Survey and Resources: "H1N1, Texans with Disabilities Prepare for Pandemic Influenza."http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/h1n1/

 

Advice about Swine Flu for People with Significant Disabilities and Attendants

Flu is caused by the highly contagious influenza virus and usually spread by respiratory secretions. Individuals are at a significant risk for developing severe and potentially lethal complications from flu if they have significant cognitive disabilities, difficulties with swallowing their secretions, challenges with coughing and excreting respiratory secretions, or impaired musculoskeletal systems (i.e., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, severe scoliosis).

Importantly, individuals in close contact with others, as well as individuals who exhibit challenges with hygiene measures, such as difficulties using tissues when coughing or sneezing, increased oral secretions, mouthing type behaviors, etc., may require additional attention during this time of year.

With rare exception, everyone who helps support individuals with developmental disabilities can play an important role in reducing serious illness and possibly death by considering a few important facts.

General Information:

  • People at greatest risk are Individuals with chronic illness (diabetes, heart problems, Etc)
  • Many individuals with complex disabilities
  • Individuals residing in congregate settings
  • All people 65 and older.
  • Following vaccination, it takes approximately two weeks to develop immunity.
  • Vaccination will not protect you 100% from getting the flu –but the more people immunized, the better chance we have of protecting our families, communities and people we serve.
  • Remember, vaccination for flu will not protect you from other common infections during the flu season.

How can you help:

  • Ensure that good hygiene efforts are supported
  • Use tissues when coughing/sneezing
  • Wash hands frequently and sanitize community areas and shared objects
  • Protect individuals from respiratory and oral secretions
  • Stay home when you have flu-like symptoms and help protect others from individuals who manifest flu-like symptoms.
  • Seek Medical attention promptly for yourself and individuals you serve, when you suspect the flu – there are effective medications available that help reduce the spreading the flu, decrease chances of serious secondary illnesses and reduce the duration of flu symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu:

  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • Dry cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

Complications of Flu:

  • Viral pneumonia
  • Worsening of chronic illnesses
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Organ failure
  • Death
  • Protection Against the Flu:

Handout developed by
Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities