The global health community is closely monitoring the occurrence of the H5N1 Avian Influenza virus that is prevalent throughout Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe. It primarily affects birds but there is significant concern that the virus could change and spread from person to person, producing a worldwide influenza epidemic.
Pandemics happen when a new influenza virus emerges to which people have little or no immunity. Although no one knows for certain when the next pandemic will occur, or what new influenza virus will cause a pandemic, the impact on our community could be enormous.
An influenza pandemic could circle the globe over the course of 2-3 months and cause millions of people to become ill. Impacts of an influenza pandemic could seriously strain healthcare systems and affect the ability of government and the private sector to provide essential services and needs.
In a severe pandemic, businesses will experience a dramatic reduction in their workforce as 1:4 employees become ill. Other workers will remain home to care for sick family members or will be absent due to child cares issue if schools are directed to close.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is currently an active participant on the Missouri Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee. Locally, we have established an advisory committee with representatives from government, health care, businesses, education and social services. This local committee is working on assuring an effective local response in protecting your community and family from the Pandemic Influenza. The Columbia/Boone County Pandemic Influenza Plan , which was completed on August 15, 2007, is available for you to read.
You are making the first steps towards protecting your family, by developing an understanding on Pandemic Influenza. Additionally, we recommend for you to have an established Family Plan and an Emergency Kit.
|You Emergency Kit Should Include:|
|Bottled water||Extra supply of prescription medicine|
|Canned or dried food||Clean clothes and sturdy shoes|
|Battery-powered radio||Extra credit card and cash|
|Flashlight||Sturdy trash bags|
|Extra batteries||Formula and baby food|
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