- The Feds are NOT ready for ANY disaster,
even a localized disaster caused by a hurricane or earthquake. Hospitals
are NOT ready for a heavy seasonal flu season.
- It is UP TO THE PUBLIC to BE READY, to
BE SELF-SUFFICIENT for at least TWO WEEKS, preferably ONE MONTH. Communities
must learn to work together. Church and civic groups must learn to "teach"
people HOW to be selfsufficient.
- Also, the arrival of avian influenza,
H5N1 into North America DOES NOT MEAN A FLU PANDEMIC is going to happen.
H5N1 is still an avian influenza. It will be necessary for humans to avoid
contact with sick birds. It will also be necessary for people to keep their
- If anyone is contemplating purchasing
a dog or cat at this time, they should be informed of the risk and the
need to keep the pet indoors. When walking a dog be sure that it is kept
on the leash and monitored so that the pet will not come into contact with
- The first step that the Feds should take
is informing peole of the things I discussed above.
- In my opinion, the Feds may NEVER be
ready to manage ANY disaster. There are just too many agencies involved
in addressing disasters and interagency bickering and lack of communication
keeps the agencies from achieving their overall goal. In short, "there
are too many chefs in the kitchen."
- I am also afraid that many of our politicians
do not understand what Avian Influenza really is. They are more interested
in using politics to contain an outbreak as opposed to an agricultural,
veterinary and medical response.
- While all of the tongue-wagging and agency
competition is ongoing I think that each and every one of us needs to be
following through on our own disaster preparations.
- A pandemic may never arrive, the virus
may NOT mutate but somewhere down the road, mother nature may strike. We
may be very happy that we planned for ourselves and our families. I always
advise adding some extra supplies for neighbors and friens who did not
head the warning.
- ....and PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO PLAN
FOR YOUR PETS. Pet food, and pet supplies are as important as our own provisions.
- Patricia Doyle
- Fed Health Chief Says US Unready
Flu Urges Planning To Handle Any Pandemic
- Top Bush administration officials are
bracing for the arrival of the feared H5N1 strain of avian influenza into
the United States within a matter of months, with the virus most likely
to be carried here by migratory birds, the same way it has spread from
Southeast Asia to Europe and Africa.
- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike
Leavitt, repeating a warning he issued from Washington the day before,
told reporters in San Francisco on Tuesday that it was "highly probable"
that within just a few months, a wild bird would bring the virus to North
- "That would not be a crisis,'' he
counseled. "It would only be a crisis if it began to infect people."
- Leavitt was in San Francisco for a talk
before the Commonwealth Club, where he discussed a broad range of health
issues, from the high cost of medical care to local preparation for a flu
- During a brief meeting with reporters
after his speech, he also disclosed that he plans to meet with Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger for a bird flu summit at the end of the month to discuss
ways that California can prepare for a potential influenza pandemic.
- To date, the H5N1 strain has been lethal
primarily to domestic poultry in nations where it has been detected, but
since 2003 it has also infected 177 people, killing 98. Nearly all the
human cases involved people in close contact with infected birds.
- Scientists fear that the ever-evolving
H5N1 strain could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans,
starting a pandemic capable of killing millions.
- "Pandemics happen,'' Leavitt told
the audience at the Commonwealth Club. "They are a biologic fact of
- He noted that there have been 10 pandemics
in the past 300 years, and three in the last 100 years. "We are overdue,
and we are underprepared,'' he said.
- The H5N1 strain may never transform into
an efficient killer of humans, but its spread throughout the world via
bird migration routes is worrisome. The more widespread the virus, the
more chances it has to evolve into a strain humans can spread to each other.
- But as to when the next pandemic might
strike, Leavitt said, "The truth is, we just do not know.''
- The Bush administration has called for
spending $7.1 billion on pandemic flu preparedness -- $3.3 billion of that
for the development of vaccines. But Leavitt stressed that if a pandemic
struck the United States, the bulk of the responsibility for dealing with
it will lie with local communities.
- Local readiness will be a primary theme
of the summit meeting with Schwarzenegger on March 30 in Los Angeles. California
Director of Health Services Sandra Shewry said Tuesday in a telephone interview
that the purpose of the meeting will be to spread the word about pandemic-flu
preparedness beyond the politicians and public health community.
- "We want to start talking to Chambers
of Commerce, the faith-based community and the schools,'' she said.
- The summit would be similar to 20 others
that Leavitt has co-hosted in other states. Shewry noted that, unlike responses
to natural disasters such as earthquakes, communities and states will be
less able to depend on others for assistance. "Our ability to rely
on mutual aid will be diminished,'' she said. "We won't be able to
call on our neighbors in Nevada, because they will be dealing with their
- Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD Bus Admin,
Tropical Agricultural Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at:
- Also my new website: http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health