Friday, 08 December 2006 00:00
Bird Flu ExerciseWritten by Valerie Alker
Collier County Health and Emergency Officials conducted an Avian Flu Exercise yesterday.
More than a hundred employees and volunteers tested the county’s plan for responding to a bird flu epidemic. Spokeswoman for the Collier Bureau of Emergency Management Jamie Saurbaugh says just because reports of a possible pandemic are no longer grabbing headlines – communities should not let down their guard.
“ it’s a serious threat and just like there are no hurricanes out there right now it’s something we have to be prepared for at all times so we’re getting ready for this in case it ever happens in case the avian flu ever becomes human to human transmission and makes its way to the united states its something we need to be prepared for”
The test was closely monitored. The strengths and weaknesses of the response to the feigned avian flu outbreak will be examined – and changes will be made to Collier County’s plan as indicated.
News stories about bird flu are no longer grabbing headlines – but health and emergency management officials are still taking the potential threat of a pandemic seriously. In Collier County today/yesterday (Thursday) health and emergency management officials tested their response plans. Emergency Management Spokeswoman Jaime Saurbaugh says information about bird or avian flu is also available on-line.
“they have a Get Ready Now brochure and they have a website called collier prepares.org and there’s a lot of avian flu information and a self triage where you can go in and type your symptoms - that’s through the health department.”
About 200 Collier workers and volunteers took part in the test. The next step is to evaluate the response and make changes to the plan if necessary.