Local health departments around Florida are holding workshops with community groups and businesses to educate them about the avian ‘bird’ flu and its potential to become a pandemic. Collier County holds a session today on Marco Island. Health and emergency officials say it’s not a matter of if, but when a pandemic flu will occur. If Avian flu were to become easily passed between humans, a worldwide outbreak would mean the community would need to work together in unprecedented ways. Deb Milsap with the Collier Health Department says preparation is very different than getting ready for a hurricane.
“In the case of a pandemic flu we’re looking at trying to prepare ourselves for six months to a year of people being ill – whether it’s in your own family or at work. It’s expected that 30% of the population might not be at work at any given time. It’s possible the schools could close down and parents would need to stay home with kids.”
Milsap says businesses and families need long term recovery plans.
She says stores may not be able to restock for weeks and pharmacies may not be able to get enough medicine.
The Collier County presentation is this morning at 11:30 at the Marco Island Yacht club. Reservations are required.
Thursday, 03 August 2006 01:00
Pandemic PreparationWritten by WGCU Newsroom