24/11/2009 12:01

U.S. Embassy Prague American Citizen Services Newsletter November 2009

U.S. Embassy Prague

American Citizen Services Newsletter



November 2009

Dear American Citizens:

Greetings from Prague! I wish you and your families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

H1N1 Influenza. Many of you have emailed and called with questions regarding H1N1 influenza. The vaccine has now arrived in the Czech Republic. Please contact your doctor to find out how to arrange for vaccination. We regret that the Embassy is not able to vaccinate American citizens residing abroad. There is a wealth of knowledge about H1N1 available on various U.S. Government websites, which we encourage you to review. Please consider reading the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of State, and the Department of Health & Human Services. For your convenience, some frequently asked questions and answers are below.

Frequently Asked Questions about H1N1:

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?

First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Which people are at highest risk for developing flu-related complications?

Most people who get the flu (either seasonal or 2009 H1N1) will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks. Some people, however, are more likely to get flu complications that result in being hospitalized and occasionally result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. The flu can also make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu. The list below includes the groups of people more likely to get flu-related complications if they get sick from influenza.


People at High Risk for Flu Complications:

· Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old

· Pregnant women

· People who have: asthma, cancer, blood disorders, chronic lung disease, endocrine disorders, heart disease, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological and neuro-developmental conditions, metabolic disorders, neuromuscular disorders, weakened immune systems due to disease or medication, and people younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy.


Where can I obtain medical treatment if I become ill?

Anyone who is ill should consult a physician. Americans overseas can obtain information for local physicians and medical facilities on the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website, via www.travel.state.gov. A list of health care providers in the Czech Republic is available on the U.S. Embassy in Prague’s American Citizen Services webpage.

Can the U.S. Embassy or Consulates overseas provide me with medication, if I get sick?

Due to legal restrictions and a lack of sufficient resources, the U.S. Department of State is not in a position to provide private American citizens traveling or living abroad with medications, medical supplies, or medical treatment. Influenza antiviral medications can be obtained by prescription from a healthcare provider in the United States. If adequate medical treatment or antiviral medications are not readily available at your overseas location or travel destination(s), you should consider discussing with your personal physician the advisability of obtaining an advance supply of appropriate medication for your trip or period of stay overseas. You can obtain more information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/travel.

Voting Information: Massachusetts Military and Overseas Voters, Submit the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) NOW for the December 8, 2009 Special Primary! On Tuesday, December 8, 2009, Massachusetts will hold a special primary election to fill the vacancy left as a result of the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. A special State election will follow on Tuesday, January 19, 2010. Massachusetts jurisdictions are currently express mailing ballots to military and overseas voters. If you receive the regular State ballot, follow the instructions provided with the ballot. There will be an address form included with the State of Massachusetts’ express mail number for returning the voted ballot. Vote and return it immediately! If you have not received the regular State ballot, use the FWAB now and return it by email, fax, or mail. Although local election officials began mailing ballots on November 9, 2009, you do not have to wait until you receive a ballot in order to vote. Massachusetts allows you to use the FWAB as a simultaneous ballot request and ballot even if you have not applied for a State absentee ballot (registration is waived). The FWAB is available from your Voting Assistance Officer or at www.fvap.gov. Vote the ballot by using the official candidates list or write-in the name of a candidate of your choice. No witness or notary is required.


Best regards,

David Beam
Consul General
Embassy of the United States






American Children Abroad

Ben and Helena Henderson

Prague, Czech Republic

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