Best defence


We face a global influenza pandemic, but each individual has the ability to protect his or herself and family.

Five simple steps are recommended, no matter where one lives, works or plays in the world.

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Cover your mouth
  3. Keep your distance
  4. Separate your sick
  5. Dispose of your waste

To spread the message of the importance of personal protection during an influenza pandemic, the Red Cross Red Cresent has prepared these materials to be shared online, offline and in your home:

Your best defence is you. Posters (Download)

Additional Details:

H1N1 Tool Kit  
How to prevent the spreading of H1N1 

Recommended Safety Measures

During the time of an influenza pandemic these are the measures you should follow to help reduce the possibility of you and your family getting sick.

Wash your hands
  • Use clean water and soap or ash
  • Washing your hands is especially important before and after you have contact with people who are sick
Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Use a scarf, mask, tissue or handkerchief
  • Use your sleeve
Keep a safe distance and avoid crowds if possible
  • Stay 1.5 metres away when talking to people
  • Do not shake hands or kiss people as a greeting
Provide care for and separating family members who are sick
  • Family members who are sick should be moved into one room or corner of the house, or outside if the weather allows
  • Use only one caregiver, preferably a family member not at high risk. This action helps to limit the spread of the illness within the family
  • The caregiver must use safety measures such as using a mask when available if they are closer than 1 metre to the person who is sick, ventilate the room and house and other family members should monitor themselves daily for fever and cough
  • Give people who are sick enough fluids such as water, juice, soup, etc. or breast milk for infants and give nutritious food
  • Young children, pregnant women and people who have another disease can be at more risk. They should therefore seek medical care if they get sick
Get rid of exposed materials safely
  • Make sure you throw out used masks or tissues properly by placing them in a bag and sealing it, burning them or burying them

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This 30-minute course is intended to help Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers prepare for an influenza pandemic. Is it now open to the general public.

The course discusses:

  1. What is an influenza pandemic
  2. What are recommended prevention procedures
  3. Home-based care recommendations
  4. Infection control behaviours

You will be prompted to register for this course.