IOCC Offers Swine Flu Precautions

Baltimore, MD (April 28, 2009) —

Dear Rev. Clergy, Lay Leaders and Supporters of IOCC:

Christ is Risen!

IOCC, like many here in the US and abroad, has been monitoring the news about the swine flu outbreak. While the media can draw attention to an issue, it is often helpful to have other sources of information. As of April 28, 2009, there are less than 100 confirmed cases of swine flu here in the US and no reported fatalities. We would recommend, however, that you consider implementing the following actions:

1. Practice good personal hygiene – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following;

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread that way.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by infected people, so avoid contact with infected people.
  • If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

2. If you have specific questions about your health, call your physician;

3. Keep in contact with your local health department – most health departments have informative websites;

4. For additional information on the swine flu, you may visit the CDC website at

5. For clergy, lay leaders, and staff of parishes and parish institutions, you may want to download and review a planning booklet ( that Lewis Saylor, who has been working with IOCC on emergency/disaster planning, co-authored with the Health Department of Fairfax County, Virginia. The focus of the booklet is to help church leaders think broadly about the impact of public health issues. It was written for a broad ecumenical audience and may be freely reproduced and contextualized for an Orthodox audience.

Sound medical information, good personal hygiene, and a calm spirit will help all of us through this evolving public health outbreak. IOCC will continue to monitor this situation and contact you if the situation warrants. In the meantime, please continue to visit our website for further information at

IOCC’s US Program