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Archive for the ‘Health Alerts’ Category

CDC Info on Swine Flu

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

The CDC is updating this site frequently at this point, in order to help everyone stay current with the swine flu situation.  See the “CDC Health Advisory” on this page for the most current information.  I heard on NPR today that Mexico has closed churches, schools, concert halls, and other public spaces to try and slow the spread of the disease.  Should these social-distancing measures be enacted for public spaces, including libraries in the U.S., be aware of measures that libraries can take to keep resources and core services available to their patrons even if their buildings are closed.  Have an alternate home page ready, to show altered hours, to highlight online resources, and to offer online chat services to patrons who need help.  Also remember to change the voice mail message on your library’s main telephone to reflect changed hours and availability of online resources and services.

Here is more information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, available on their Pandemic Flu web site:  The Swine Flu Info widget from HHS is available there to be copied into web pages–this will provide quick access to “Information,” “Investigation,” and “What you can do” sources.

Books as viral “agents”

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

So a coughing or sneezing patron leaves a book in the library’s bookdrop. How long can the viruses that may be riding along on the book survive, possibly to be picked up by an unwary library worker or the next patron? See the CDC’s Q & A on Preventing Seasonal Flu to find out!

Influenza virus

HealthVault: Secure, Online Storage for Health Info

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Microsoft has released a new software and services platform, HealthVault, to help people store and manage their health information online, as well as search for health information.  This looks like an excellent resource for use by people in disaster-prone areas, such as hurricane and tornado alleys.  Keeping health-related records “off-site” through a service such as HealthVault would enable people who are suddenly displaced to retrieve information about prescriptions, medical records, etc. from anywhere.  We know, from the lessons learned courtesy of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, that many people who were forced to evacuate were not able to remember the names of their medications in many cases, recalling only the color and the number of pills they usually took.

Could promoting this be a role for librarians, especially in hospital settings?