miércoles, enero 18, 2006

State of California Unveils Pandemic Plan

California Unveils Flu Plan
By Harrison Sheppard, Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO -- California would take steps as drastic as shutting schools, limiting public events and asking people to wear masks in public in order to cope with a possible bird flu pandemic, under a draft plan released today by state health officials.

The avian influenza has yet to reach California and is not easily spread among humans, but health officials are worried the virus could mutate, launching a worldwide pandemic on a scale not seen since Spanish flu killed 20 million people in 1918.

"Depending on its severity, an influenza pandemic could cause widespread economic and societal disruption and severely strain our health-care system," said California Department of Health Services director Sandra Shewry.

[snip]

Some elements of the plan will be implemented prior to a pandemic, such as reinforcing to the public messages about good health practices, like covering one's mouth when sneezing, washing hands, and stockpiling supplies such as bottled water, canned food, batteries and flashlights for an extended emergency.

Read entire article here.

Or, go to the draft of the plan at the California Department of Health Services, Division of Communicable Disease Control. The draft is 170 pages long.