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Disaster Preparedness News
Scientists Warn: It's Just a Question of when the Avian Flu Will Spark a Pandemic
We have been hearing about a possible pandemic flu pandemic for years now but warnings from an expert panel of scientists at the National Emergency Management Summit held earlier this month made it clear that we are not dealing with another unwarranted disaster scare like Y2K. Rather, scientists warned that it is not a question of "if" the pandemic will hit, but rather "when" it will hit; whether it be from the recent outbreak of swine flu or the avian bird flu that continues to spread in some parts of Asia.
And just this this week, there has been an international spread of a swine flu that has already killed hundreds of mid-aged and otherwise healthy people in Mexico. Which is a grave concern to many scientists who are also remarked by the speed in which it is growing; even in a warm North American climate.
A pandemic is a disease that spreads rapidly across a major geographical region including an entire country or countries. Not knowing when a pandemic will hit, hospitals and the government are beginning to ramp up emergency preparedness efforts. Dr. Robin Robinson, senior project officer of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is partly responsible for ensuring the U.S. is prepared such an event.
According to reports from DisasterNews.net, he said they said the government has the capability today to get everyone vaccinated in six months. By 2011, he said that time frame could be down to a month. According to Robinson, the government has looked long and hard for enough vaccine to accomplish this goal. Robinson also said the government has also prepared to be able to provide antiviral drugs to 25 percent of the population, once the pandemic hits. "We actually found on the black market a season of influenza vaccine priced between $400 and $600," he said, noting the price of a normal vaccine is less than $20. "Imagine when everyone is scared and will want something," he added.
The US Government Accountability Office issued a response earlier this month admitting that "Leadership roles and responsibilities need to be clarified and tested, and coordination mechanisms could be better utilized.Efforts are underway to improve the surveillance and detection of pandemic-related threats, but targeting assistance to countries at the greatest risk has been based on incomplete information.Pandemic planning and exercising has occurred, but planning gaps remain."
What can you do to be prepared for a possible flu pandemic? Well, first of all, you should always have a survival kit with the proper emergency preparedness supplies. We offer a wide variety of 72 hour survival kits for your home, car, school, and office. Each kit contains 72 hour supply of emergency food and water with a US Coast Guard Approved 5 year shelf life. You should also have a pandemic flu emergency kit for each member of your family in your home. This emergency kit contains emergency supplies specifically designed to protect against the outbreak of a pandemic flu.
By Michael Bartholomew
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