Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Flu Prevention Cards to print 4 per page.
I am very interested in flu prevention not only because of experience with polio but also because of my clinic experience during the 2009 flu pandemic. The patients at this outlying clinic had no physician, 71% needed an interpreter, and they had multiple disabilities, comorbidities and health disparities. Many of the patients had contact with people crossing the Mexican-American border where the pandemic began. Governments were totally unable to control it. The State took actions to close the clinic. We were lucky the 2009 flu was not a more lethal strain. The 1918 pandemic killed 675,000 Americans, and that rate would have killed over 2 million Americans in 2009. Most patients could not afford Tamiflu, and during the pandemic the strain flu mutated to become resistant to it.
I developed nonverbal pocket cards to graphically show how to prevent spreading infection by covering coughs, washing hands, getting vaccinated, etc. It was designed so that it could even be dropped from an airplane and used by anyone.
In my opinion physicians, media and government should speak out more. They should hold accountable people who give false information and oppose vaccination. Lack of vaccination causes painful unpleasant death and disability to the most vulnerable people. All the science and qualified professionals agree that vaccination and other public health measures are effective. 133 countries have higher immunization ratios for Measles in 1 year olds than the US. 3 to 5% of Washington State children opt out of vaccination for nonmedical reasons. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that "Failure to vaccinate children constitutes a form of medical neglect that should be reported to state child protective services."
In overall US health the CIA factbook points out that we ranked 173 out of 222 nations. We rank lowest of the 11 Commonwealth countries. Politics and war are the major reason we failed to eliminate polio by 2010. In several countries healthcare providers are shot because they try to immunize children. I think it is hard not to do something about this.