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Home > Uncategorized > The flu is coming…

The flu is coming…

September 27th, 2009

In an environment like the one we work in, disease is nothing new.  Terrible illnesses such as Hep C are rampant throughout our institutions.  This year we have the added threat of a flu that is not well understood yet.  The H1N1 Flu tends to hit people who are younger.  This is juxtapose to the common flu which tends to strike the very young or the very old.  This flu is targeting people between the ages of 5 and 38.  Unfortunately, the average inmate population is 37 years old.  This gives me pause.

If a flu like this is able to grab hold inside of your institution, things can get ugly quick.  The confined environment makes this a real hazard for those of us that have to go work there everyday.  The reality is that many of us that may feel ill are still going to go to work.  Unlike office jobs, calling in sick has real consequences for us, so we often “sick it out.”  I am guilty of this as much as anyone.  This presents an obvious problem.  Like a bad horror movie, if this flu takes hold of an institution, the consequences could be far reaching.  Beyond the inmates themselves, the disease has a great potential to really spread, and even worse, mutate in these environments.  I spoke to a CDC doctor last week who was really concerned about this.  

So stay vigilant out there.  If you notice a Flu epidemic at your institution, protect yourself first!  Wash your hands, use gloves and stay as far away from the infected as you can.  This is a real challenge for those of us that work in our nations prisons; but we need our health!  The H1N1 vaccine will be available soon; take advantage of this please.  Also remember that you will need a regular flu shot on top of this also.  Try to keep healthy.  With all the inmate transfers between prisons, this promises to be an interesting flu season.  Let us know if you have an epidemic, and what your department is doing about it.

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