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Be Prepared for Swine Flu

POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm

In Indianapolis, 12 month old Joey Maddus was hospitalized with a soaring fever after both his parents came down with swine flu. "The doctor said, 'rotate Tylenol and Motrin.' we were doing that every three hours rotating, still 102, 103. And then he just stopped eating and drinking," said Joey's mom.

Joey pulled through. But half way across the country, 27-year old police officer Ryan Johnson died. "I just want people to know that this is happening without any underlying symptoms," said Johnson.

Flu season has barely started, but swine flu cases have already begun to surge.
Experts say vaccines won't be ready for weeks but people should start preparing now. Montgomery County nurse manager Kay Aaby says people need to gather some key items to create a swine flu survival kit.

The kit should include fluids with electrolytes like Gatorade and Powerade -- fever reducers with ibuprofen or acetaminophen as well as cough and cold medication. "Many of us have these items already in our homes, whether it's in a closet or under lock and key. But over the years, like last year you might have used them, they might have an expiration date on them. Or you might not have certain items that you thought you had," Aaby said.

Aaby says the kit should also have items to prevent spreading the flu virus -- things like hand sanitizer, possibly even face masks, specifically the n95 mask, which federal officials now say that health care workers should be wearing. "Many times we are in different places. We don't have water and soap available, so hand sanitizer is very important -- at least 60% alcohol based. Purell is one of the examples of hand sanitizers," Aaby said. And like in all emergency kits, make sure to have plenty of water and about two weeks worth of non-perishable foods.

Aaby said, "It's really important to start planning ahead and to have these items in your house as a stockpile. There may be shortages of certain supplies, so it's important to start stockpiling some of these items."