Home With Flu - comic strip with tips for parents

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H1N1 Flier
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When disease incidence peaked last fall, and before vaccine was available, Public Health – Seattle & King County employees noticed that it was experiencing some messaging challenges. Although public health staff had been communicating the importance of staying home with flu-like symptoms, it became apparent that people were not following the guidance. For example, school officials reported that many students were coming to school sick.

As a result, the local health department used funds from NACCHO's Advanced Practice Center Program to develop an educational flier in the form of a comic-strip. This idea was adapted from a graphic novel that department staff had previously developed to educate the public about what might happen in a flu pandemic. This early effort told the story of the 1918 pandemic, as it tried to prepare the public for what could have happened with H1N1.

The newer comic, a flier called "At-Home with Flu," details the dangers of contagion, describes the importance of staying of home, and suggests how caretakers can adapt their schedules to look after their sick kids. It was developed by Public Health-Seattle King County and sent electronically to school districts, the local healthcare coalition, public health and community clinics, and child-care programs as well as community-based-organizations, which then were able to select how they wanted to distribute the material. The comic is targeted to parents and includes guidance about what they should do while caring for sick children at home. It also identifies the ACIP at-risk groups. The comic is available in 14 languages, and can easily be downloaded from the health department's website.

Public Health-Seattle King County received positive feedback about the comic from the organizations that received it, and credits some of its early success in promoting isolation to the innovative communication strategy. They plan to adapt it for seasonal flu education.

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