It is useful in evaluating information and strategic planning to compare and contrast with what others are doing. This is what Minnesota has done to alert people about being prepared. The format of the information is similar to that of WHO (posted previously) and might be a useful model for our local planning.
Talking points’ on bird flu brought up
Crookston Daily Times – Crookston,MN,USA
from Google Alert for: alaska bird flu
By Natalie J. Ostgaard, City Editor
With reports that the avian flu will soon be hitting birds in North America, Polk County Public Health Director Sheri Altepeter said her agency was updated earlier this week with a wealth of information on the topic. A list of “public health talking points” covers “pretty much everything we know about this at this time,” she said.
“The virus is expected to migrate to birds on this continent this spring,” she explained. “What that means for us as humans, we’re not sure at this time.”
The talking points address a number of questions on the public’s mind these days, and Altepeter highlighted some of those pertinent to people living in this area:
# If somebody does find an infected bird here, does that mean we’re having a pandemic?
No, the H5N1 bird flu strain is still almost entirely a disease of birds, a “bird pandemic” – not a human pandemic. In rare cases, the H5N1 virus has caused human illness – but only in people who have had extensive, close contact with infected domestic poultry or their droppings. As of March 10, only 176 human cases of this illness had been reported worldwide, over the last three years. No one has been infected through contact with wild birds, or other people….
Each individual and family should also know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions can be taken to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on themselves and their community:
# Store a supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
# Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
# Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
# Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
# Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.