Los Angeles Health Department For Pandemic Flu Preparedness

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Pandemic Flu Preparedness

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to help prevent students and staff from catching seasonal flu, and to collaborate on pandemic flu preparedness.

Students and school staff are one of the largest populations vulnerable to serious complications from the seasonal flu. By joining forces, county health officials and schools will be able to implement important preventative measures to keep children healthy during flu season.

"Children are especially vulnerable to catching the flu, but there are ways to help them stay healthy," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Public Health Director and County Health Officer. "Our collaboration with LAUSD is a partnership to encourage seasonal and pandemic flu preparedness with simple steps to prevent the spread of flu with washing your hands, covering your cough and sneezes, not touching your hands to your face, nose, or mouth, and getting a seasonal flu shot."

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As part of its seasonal and pandemic flu preparedness plan, LAUSD produced and distributed an instructional DVD and supporting materials to more than 800 schools in collaboration with the Department of Public Health's Clean Hands campaign to help students stay healthy all year long.

"Helping our children and staff stay healthy ensures that learning and achievement are not interrupted," said LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III. "By making this DVD available to all schools so that students learn how to stay healthy, we are taking proactive, preventative steps to minimize the impact of flu or pandemic on our students and staff. I am pleased to partner with LA County Department of Public Health to inform families about staying healthy."

The partnership with the LAUSD is part of Public Health's "Clean Hands" campaign, a multicultural and multi-language grassroots program focusing on the importance of hand washing as a means to avoid influenza [or the flu]. The "Clean Hands" campaign illustrates just how easy it is to transmit germs during one's daily routine. The campaign shows how simple steps like hand washing, covering your cough, and getting a flu shot can not only keeps one healthy but also reduces the risk of foodborne illness.

Due to Los Angeles County's diverse population, the "Clean Hands" campaign was launched in 12 different languages and targets 13 markets, including Hispanic, Asian, Russian, Armenian, Arabic, African American, and people with disabilities. "Clean Hands" focuses on reaching children, businesses, faith- based and other community-based organizations, individuals, and families.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $700 million.

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