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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TweetThis! Flu pandemic is coming

This is a forwarded msg from a friend. Read article at end explaining a recent talk given by the head of the Center for Disease Control on the expected coming pandemic.
Read on…

This is not meant to create a panic, but according to this article, it is a good time to re-evaluate your preparedness and add to your food/water supply accordingly.

I went to a seminar about a month ago put on by the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints.  Dr. Susan Puls, who is a cardiologist and who was appointed by the first presidency of the church as the head of the church’s pandemic committee, spoke.  She said she was not an expert on pandemics as this was not her speciality, but in the two years she’s been in her position, is fast becoming one.  She now works for the church on a full-time basis working on planning for the pandemic and trying to get the word out to as many church members as possible.  There were about 1400 people at the Saturday all-day seminar I attended - they were from Idaho down to St. George, Utah.

In her capacity, she works with the governors pandemic committee and the federal pandemic planning agency.

She also said a pandemic is coming - not ‘maybe’ but is DEFINITELY coming.

She says the pandemic is expected within the next two years but she personally belives it will be ’sooner rather than later.’  The various groups (CDC, WHO, etc..) do not know what the pandemic will be but ‘first among their list of suspects is the avian bird flu.  It’s only one mutation away from being easily transmitted from birds to humans and from human to human.’She said the World Health Organization expects 40% of the world population to become sick.  Of those who become sick, they expect 50% will die.  You do the math - there are over 6 billion people on the earth today - that puts the death rate at over 1.4 billion people - and she says these deaths will happen over only a 3 to 4 month period of time.

Dr. Puls related that when the pandemic hits the US, mandatory quarantine’s of all infected and NON-INFECTED peoples will occur within the first 48 hours.  Only emergency personnel (Dr’s, nurses, firemen, police, national guardsmen, etc..) will be allowed to leave their homes - not even to go to the store, etc..  This quarantine will last during the duration of the ‘pandemic cycle’ which will last approximately three months.

Her main point was that everyone will need a MINIMUM of 3 months supply of food at home as the governments of the world will be overwhelmed within the first week and cannot be counted on to provide food, medical help, etc.

She only briefly spoke on the ’social disruption’ that will occur and did not go into any detail about what plans may, or may not exist, to deal with this.  However - think about this - if your neighbors (both those you know and strangers) run out of food and are starving how might they react?  Then think of all the individuals who already live outside of the law and are only ‘controlled’ by our current legal system.  How might they react when law enforcement becomes innefectual due to illness among the ranks and those who abandon their jobs to stay home and protect their own families.  Ditto for the national guard and our own military.

Anyway, this isn’t to scare anyone - just to provide  a ‘heads up’ as ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed.’

Story originally printed in the La Crosse Tribune or online at www.lacrossetribune.com 

Published - Friday, September 05, 2008
CDC chief states flu pandemic is coming
Director of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Julie Gerberding, speaks Thursday during a flu pandemic preparedness conference at Logistics Healths Riverside Center South. PETER THOMSON photo
Director of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Julie Gerberding, speaks Thursday during a flu pandemic preparedness conference at Logistics Health's Riverside Center South. PETER THOMSON photo
By TERRY RINDFLEISCH |trindfleisch@lacrossetribune.com

Ready or not, a flu pandemic is coming, says Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gerberding talked about preparing for the pandemic threat at a national conference Thursday at Logistics Health in La Crosse. No one knows when the pandemic is coming or what strain of flu virus will cause it, but it is overdue, she said.

She said she has only two meetings a week at the CDC and one focuses on flu pandemic preparations. ‘We take it very seriously,’ Gerberding said, adding that the national strategy is to ’save lives and sustain a civil society’ during a pandemic.

She said politicians are not talking about a flu pandemic or the bird flu virus, which may or may not be the virus that causes the next pandemic.

‘No one is talking about it, and it’s not on their radar screen,’ Gerberding said.

She said CDC officials are closely monitoring the bird flu virus, which has a death rate of 63 percent among the 385 cases reported worldwide since 2003.

‘It is a moving target, and we have to stay on top of it,’ Gerberding said.

She said CDC scientists have created a potential vaccine in case the virus develops into a pandemic strain and are conducting more research to develop a vaccine. They have recreated the virus that caused the 1918 flu pandemic to better understand it.

Gerberding said organizations and corporations need to come up with preparedness plans and confront the impact of a flu pandemic. Some people believe a pandemic won’t happen, while others feel too overwhelmed to do anything, she said.

‘Complacency is the enemy of health protection,’ she said.

Gerberding said CDC officials are working to decrease the time to detect a virus and strain by improving diagnostic tests and to protect people with stockpiled antiviral medication and speedy containment of the virus.

The CDC is building 18 global disease detection and response centers around the world, Gerberding said.

Despite all the planning so far, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, who helped lead the CDC before Gerberding was appointed director, said everyone needs to be more prepared due to our global economy.

Osterholm, director of the infectious disease center at the University of Minnesota, said the death rate from the next pandemic could exceed 300 million.

Critical products and services including food, water and basic drugs won’t get to people due to transportation and energy problems in a pandemic, he said. Global supply chains may be severely challenged, he said.

‘No one has addressed the food system yet,’ Osterholm said.

Logistics Health, the Coulee Region Public Health Consortium and the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium sponsored the conference. More than 150 business and organization personnel attended in person, and another 1,200 people watched the Webcast. A majority of the Fortune 500 corporations were represented.

Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor who is now president of Logistics Health, hired Gerberding and Osterholm when he was secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services.
‘Planning is important for survival,’ Thompson said.

All stories copyright 2000 - 2006 La Crosse Tribune and other attributed sources.
News source: LaCrosseTribune

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