Government issues tips for possible pandemic

Posted by: Craig

Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/06/06 01:58 PM

Thought I'd pass this along.

Guide urges people to stock food, prepare for school and work changes

-- Craig
Posted by: jshannon

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/06/06 02:23 PM

These are pretty good too.
Posted by: Farmer

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/07/06 12:17 AM

I hate to seem paranoid (I am paranoid - I just don't like everyone else knowing it.) but when our government starts telling people how to prepare for the worst, I can't help feeling that what we think of as the worst may be the best of what's coming!
After all, most of our politicians won't admit to a fart until after the flowers have wilted - and then they'll blame it on the dog. Maybe I'd better step up the "vacation property in the woods" program.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/07/06 07:35 AM

The government keeps giving out advice like "stockpile a supply of prescription drugs". Do they have any idea what they are talking about? Has anyone in FEMA tried this? I can only refill prescriptions for a 30 day supply every 30 days. My health insurance won't pay for anything more. The drugstore won't fill a new prescription for the same drug, so you can't "shop around for a doctor". This may not be legal anyway. Also, I use insulin, which is a [censored] because it must be refrigerated. The ins co won't even pay for 1 additional vial so that I have a cushion. I would like to refill while still having a full vial in the fridge. Suppose that we have a disaster the day before I can refill & I'm down to the last dose? The gov't gives out what would be good advice, but doesn't check to see if it is possible.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/07/06 03:51 PM

"The gov't gives out what would be good advice, but doesn't check to see if it is possible."

Umm... you aren't under the impression that politicians live in the REAL world, are you?

And, FWIW, when the government starts with some kind of mantra on one hand, be sure to watch what the other hand is doing. You probably won't like it.

Posted by: ironraven

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/08/06 08:00 PM

These clowns aren't even politicians. Politicians get elected, no one voted for them. Politicians SELECTED them.

Hang on, I'm going to ramble to myself with my hands for a bit. Follow the bouncing elipses. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

So... If politicians are about 5 degrees out of touch with reality.... And they select bureacrates from thier "poli-reality"... Then the politicians kabitz about bureacrates being 5 degrees out of touch... That means these regs are created by offices that are headed by people who are ten degrees out of reality. And then they select the next tier down... And by the time you get the guys who "advise" on new policy, we are about 180 degrees out of it.

Yep, that explains everything.
Posted by: Craig

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/08/06 08:01 PM

The point is, I think, the Feds are trying, instead of just sitting there and collecting taxes.

I know I can't stockpile any medicines unless I pay for it out of my own pocket, and I can't afford to. That's why we have insurance.

The Feds should probably preface everything with, "If you can afford to...."

-- Craig
Posted by: frenchy

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/08/06 09:46 PM

.. we are about 180 degrees out of it.

Thus the importance of EDCing a compass.... <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: wildcard163

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/09/06 12:28 AM

If they'd do their jobs and look after the best interests of THE PEOPLE, you could afford to.

Posted by: Nicodemus

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/09/06 01:00 AM

Good luck trying to stockpile prescription drugs that could, if one were so inclined, resell for big bucks. Painkillers come to mind.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 04:33 PM

Well, I got the local flu bug this weekend, so I don't feel much like elaborating on the bureacracy today. Everyone gets a break from my soapbox. <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: GameOver

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 09:11 PM

Has anyone solved this? My wife and I tried. She's on thyroid meds, not very expensive. We asked the pharmacist (local grocery chain) what it would take to get a 2nd month supply, but not put it through insurance, we would pay for it out of pocket. We never got to prescription issues, the pharmacist could not figure out why we would want to have extra meds. So, it isn't just the expensive or controlled substances that are difficult to stock up on.
Posted by: wildcard163

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 10:19 PM

Talk to your doctor, not your pharmacist, he can't sell any prescription without that little piece of paper (or a phone call) from a doc.. If your regular doc. doesn't understand your concerns, go to another one... it might sound a little underhanded, but sometimes ya gots ta do what ya gots ta do. Oh, and don't forget to take the second scrip to a different pharmacy. In all likelyhood, all this won't be neccessary, unless your doctor's really uptight. Just point out the circumstances you're trying to plan for and unless you're trying to stockpile several months worth (which isn't a good idea anyway), and he'll probably issue the scrip for the back-ups with no problem, but remember to rotate the med.s on a regular basis.

Posted by: massacre

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 10:43 PM

Good idea - and if your doctor says no, he's an idiot - you should change anyway.

One other thing, you should contact your company's HR person and discuss with them the insurance factor. I gotta think that a large insurer wouldn't mind coughing up an extra month's worth of meds for emergencies if you request it nicely and state that you live in a dangerzone (don't we all for one thing or another?). I know that if your insurance has a mail-order meds program, many of them typically allow orders for 3-6 months at a time for common meds like birth control, statins, and many other chronic conditions.

And as for insulin - my grandmother kept a large enough supply on hand, so I know you can get a few vials. As for refigeration - there are such things as evaporative refrigerators made from water, two pots and some sand. non-electrical refrigeration

Insulin will keep as long as a month if it's not too hot (like below 85 deg.), so digging a hole 3 feet in the ground and covering a container with said insulin inside should keep it from going bad in a pinch...
Posted by: wildcard163

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 10:56 PM

I recently got med's ahead of time because I was going out of state to work, the ins. co. didn't bat an eye. Granted, this wasn't getting ahead, because my next scrip wasn't picked up 'til due, but if you played this right, you could duild up a reserve over time, I know a few folks who have done just that.

Posted by: Susan

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 11:30 PM

As the others have said, talk to your doctor. When my Mom was alive, she was on multiple meds for congestive heart failure. We were on high ground, surrounded by low ground, in a flood-prone area. We would be safe, but we couldn't get out. I explained this to the doctor, who thankfully has a functioning brain AND common sense, and she fixed it with the pharmacist. We paid for the med out of pocket, though, as trying to get an insurance company to change it's policy is like talking to a rock.

Posted by: massacre

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/10/06 11:46 PM

Hehe, no doubt Insurance companies have rocks for brains and a brick wall for ears. I heartily recommend that you talk to your HR person at work and see if you can be put in touch with your COMPANY's Insurance Rep. Sometimes they can swing things that the policy may be inflexible on. It helps if you also have life insurance with the same company and you live next to a fault line/flood zone/tornado alley/hurrican prone coastline/Tsunami impact area or any other equally treacherous region. And I think we can all lay claim to one thing or another. :-)

The point here is NOT to try to talk to the Insurance guys themselves, but rather to someone at your company who regularly deals with guys on the inside at said Insurance Co. I had one situation where this was invaluable advice given to me - but I worked for a 10,000+ employee company (and now a 50k+ one). YMMV
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 12:54 AM

HOT DOG, I'm USEFUL! :lol:

Okay....MOST insurance companies will allow an eight day window for refills. I've only encountered one insurance that regularly makes people use up ALL the med before a refill. Unless it's something like Viagra, or expensive migraine meds, where the insuarance will limit it to __ pills every 30 days on the dot.

On should maybe mention to the pharmacy staff that you use it more often sometimes. Even IF the directions are as specific as "Inject ___ units ___ times a day" any pharmacist would realize that with diabetes 'stuff happens' and sometimes you HAVE to use more. The only time I EVER submit to an insurance company that someone on insulin is getting a thirty day supply is if they are getting three or more vials of it.

Your pharmacy CAN help you out to a degree, especially with the 'day supply' submitted to an insurance. While we can't really 'KNOWINGLY' fudge it (putting in a 15-day supply for some Percocet that should last 30 days for instance) we can be flexable on things like insulin, inhalers, etc.

But whoever mentioned trouble stockpiling pain, yeah. Unless your doctor us willing to risk potential trouble with 'The Man' by ordering a pharmacy to fill it.

Your doctor can help you out with some things, but if it's something like a thyroid medicine where you likely have refills for up to a year at a time...he shouldn't HAVE to, unless your pharmacist is just thick.

Being a proud member here, I'd see the need of stockpiling some things. But, it's not like I can wear 'Preparedness-Minded Certified Pharmacy Technician' on my badge, who can know? And I guess that some people who are wanting to do it don't want to advertise it to us either...bah. I hate the stigma associated with what amounts to COMMON SENSE and being prepared sometimes...

More on insurance....SOME...maybe less than half...of companies have provisions for vacation supplies and lost medicine early refills. I wouldn't COUNT on it, but just FYI. Let's see, that's all I can think of on the subject for now, but ALWAYS let me know if something comes up where an opinion of a 'pharmacy insider' would be of use! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: fugitive

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 05:59 AM

Possible solutions to med stockpile-

1) If missing a single dose is not life or health threatening, skip one dose per week and toss in a different bottle. When you have a months worth work the bottle into your dosage rotation keeping the newest supply from the pharmacy as your emergency stock.

2) Talk to your doctor about your needs. You may be able to get the doc to write script for a higher dose for a month or two. You don't take the extra, you save it. Same story, keep the newest supply as the emergency stock.

3) Get you doc to write script for another month's supply. Have it filled at a second pharmacy and pay for it yourself.

I have used all of the above methods at one time or another and currenty have a 3 month supply of all my meds. I sleep better knowing I am covered in a short term crisis.

I have little patience with the crap the medical insurance companies serve up these days. The insurance companies are denying you the ability to take care of yourself in a crisis. It would be interesting to see what happened to the folks in New Orleans that were dependent on medications after the hurricane. We live in a society that is almost completely dependent on constant outside help to function. Shut off the supply of any critical resource and the system breaks down rapidly.

Natural disasters tend to be mostly contained to small geographic regions. Even a mess like we saw in the Gulf states can be salvaged because the rest of the country still functions. A deadly pandemic sweeping the country would be a real disaster as geographic boundries would not be much of a barrier. I'm still guessing (and hoping) the much anticipated bird flu pandemic is bogus fear nongering. Still, I am making basic preparations.

Much like the Y2K fiasco, I prepared and have no regrets. I am now better prepared for the next "real" fiasco.

TR (Taking a chill pill)
Posted by: massacre

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 07:00 AM

Strange... around the beginning of December I found an article on the homepage. This entry described what was believed to be the very likely mutation of h5n1 into a human-to-human transmissable pathogen in Indonesia or Malaysia (can't remember which right now). I was so startled that I showed my wife and told her we needed to get our stockpile built up to several months worth. That article can't be found now - it was on and it basically said they believed that the mutation had occurred and that they were in the process of verifying. It was in a major city. I can't even find the original entry despite my best efforts. This was saying several hundred people were coming down with it rapidly.

Now the WHO is saying confirmable and "sustained" human-to-human transfer instead of just "confirmable" as the measuring stick for global pandemic.

Let's just hope that when it mutates (this will likely happen in an individual who already has a Human-to-human flu virus active and who contracts the second H5n1 at the same time - making a crossbread) that it loses some of its lethality - currently around 50%.

Oh, and I also read from the CDC that the country (and certainly the world) is not even close to being prepared. Their suggestion? Bunker down for as long as you can. I've been trying to build up supplies ever since. It's a matter of time, not of chance. If not for this particular strain, some other. We are far overdue. Toss in our overuse of antibiotics where fully 2/3rds are fed to animals (they can be found in meat and even the air - probably from animal dung dust) creating massively resistant bacteria, and I'd say I'm much more fearful of semi-natural bio-killers than any terrorist bio-weps. Too bad nobody at Homeland Security or the FDA or CDC seem to be doing much about the former.

Posted by: MissouriExile

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 02:25 PM

Does anyone know details about bird flu? Does living in an area with a lot of intensive chicken raising operations increase the risk of infection? Do you have to actually handle the bird? In short, how is it transmitted? If airborne infection is possible is there a range ? I don't feel a panic attack coming on but do want to know what the risks are.
Posted by: MissouriExile

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 02:28 PM


I need a one time translation for this acronym.

Posted by: harrkev

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 02:42 PM

Another thing that can be done is to get some extra samples from the doctor. My wife is on thyroid medicine. I went with my wife to an appointment and explained my concerns. The doctor gave me two one-week sample cards that now resided in the car kit. It is only an extra 14 days, but that is not too bad for free.

Tip to myself -- I gotta keep an eye on the expiration date.

Also, I am a Floridian. Things sure get hot here. I understand that heat can do bad things to meds. Any tips for keeping meds fresh that live in a vehicle in Florida?
Posted by: Woodsloafer

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 02:55 PM

No one really likes insurance companies, but don't play the blame game here. They are not preventing you from having additional prescription drugs, just from paying for them. As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, you need to work with your pharmcy and/or doctor to solve the problem.

"There is nothing so frightening as ignorance in action.""
Posted by: paramedicpete

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 03:22 PM

Here are a few web sites to check out:



World Health Org

Posted by: MissouriExile

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 04:18 PM

Thanks for the links. It appears that (baring some mutation) it is unlikely to be infected merely by living a mile or so from intensive chicken operations. It seems to require actual contact.
Hopefully those people that do come in contact with the birds are sanitized in some way before going to their second job as a short order cook........... Really........ no panic
Posted by: Arney

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 06:09 PM

This was saying several hundred people were coming down with it rapidly.

There certainly isn't any strain of H5N1 infecting hundreds of people rapidly. Are you sure it wasn't referring to the garden variety flu? Because that has certainly infected a bunch of people recently, including my wife.
Posted by: massacre

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 06:57 PM

No, they were quite clear on the report that health officials were concerned because several cases appeared to have contracted a flu virus that was testing positive for h5n1 despite not having been anywhere near any birds or other people who handle birds, either sick or healthy. I've been searching on various parameters for a couple of days and I couldn't find the article. But now I have found several related after digging (and guessing on search parameters) and this was in Jakarta.

Indonesia hasn't been forthcoming with details on their problem, has been unwilling to kill off birds and seems to be looking for financial help to deal with it, so I'm not sure how valid this was in retrospect. I think I've convinced myself that someone pushed the panic button and a story leaked or was leaked on purpose and that's why it hasn't been picked up since. It also seems that poultry and people live in close proximity there, so even folks who don't handle birds may be near them and not realize it. I'm chalking this one up to unconfirmed, but I'm still getting prepared. I know a bit about pathogens, and a worldwide pandemic is far overdue - especially with our jetsetting lifestyles.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 07:24 PM

I wouldn't keep meds in the car in FL. Aren't you likely to get some warning of most impending disasters? Why not put them in a small baggie and pin them to the wall beside your exit door. If something is coming, grab and run.

Posted by: Arney

Re: Government issues tips for possible pandemic - 01/11/06 09:52 PM

So far, the main risk factor for getting H5N1 is contact with dead birds, whether domesticated or wild. As long as the chickens are healthy, there doesn't seem to be much risk because chickens aren't generally hidden carriers of the virus. Generally, if they get it, they start dying in droves. So, living a mile down the road from a normally functioning chicken farm is still safe. Hope you're upwind of the smell, though. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Anonymous

Bird flu may be more common, less deadly - 01/12/06 03:13 AM

Article from the "Seattle Post Intelligencer"
A fairly long article that says that the Bird Flu (H5N1) may not be as severe as original thought because only the really sick people are being reported. Other people are getting it and recovering without getting reported to the medical authorities.

The link to "China View" listed below is a little less cluttered with quotes from authoritative figures...

Bird flu may be more common, less deadly

Monday, January 9, 2006

CHICAGO -- As bird flu cases rise at a disturbing pace in Turkey, new research offers a bit of hope - it's likely that many people who get it don't become seriously ill and quickly recover.

Although not definitive, the new study suggests the virus is more widespread than thought. But it also probably doesn't kill half its victims, a fear based solely on flu cases that have been officially confirmed.

"The results suggest that the symptoms most often are relatively mild and that close contact is needed for transmission to humans," wrote Dr. Anna Thorson of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and colleagues who conducted the study. It was published in Monday's edition of Archives of Internal Medicine.

So far, the bird flu deaths in Turkey involved children playing with dead chickens.

.... rest of article deleted for brevity and copyright issues

[color:"red"] (Note to self: Don't play with dead chickens) [/color]

Also reported in:

China View

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Hundreds to thousands of people may be infected with bird flu, but have mild symptoms and do not get admitted to hospital, thereby failing to appear in official figures, Swedish researchers reported Monday......

Also in Time Online

[color:"blue"] Edit with additional information: [/color]

JAMA - Archives of Internal Medicine

Is Exposure to Sick or Dead Poultry Associated With Flulike Illness?

A Population-Based Study From a Rural Area in Vietnam With Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Anna Thorson, MD, PhD; Max Petzold, PhD; Nguyen Thi Kim Chuc, PhD; Karl Ekdahl, MD, PhD

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:119-123.

Background The verified human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Vietnam may represent only a selection of the most severely ill patients. The study objective was to analyze the association between flulike illness, defined as cough and fever, and exposure to sick or dead poultry.

Abstract of study

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: More Interresting Pandemic reading - 01/12/06 05:53 PM

Black Dawn - The Next Pandemic
Posted by: Craig

Re: More Interresting Pandemic reading - 01/12/06 06:10 PM

That will help me sleep soundly. NOT. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

-- Craig
Posted by: Farmer

Re: Bird flu may be more common, less deadly - 01/13/06 01:24 AM

(Note to self: Don't play with dead chickens)

Well, shoot. I guess I'll have to find a new Saturday Afternoon Activity, then. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />