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Bird Flu? Minn. Got A Plan

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    Dear Friends, http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5707606.html Love and Light. David In case of bird flu, Minnesota has planMinnesota officials have three
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2005
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      Dear Friends,

      http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5707606.html

      Love and Light.

      David

      In case of bird flu, Minnesota has planMinnesota officials have three scenarios for responding to an outbreak, if it happens.

      Maura Lerner, Star Tribune
      Last update: November 3, 2005 at 9:13 PM




      Six years ago, state officials drafted a plan for coping with a possible flu pandemic. This week, Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided it was ready for prime time.

      On Thursday, he called a news conference to preview what Minnesotans could expect, from school closings to quarantines, in the event of an outbreak.



      Pawlenty said the state is prepared to take "aggressive and extraordinary" measures if bird flu arrives in the state.



      While it may never be necessary, he added, it's important for people to start talking about what might happen in an emergency.



      "We're going to have to be on our 'A game,' " he said. "We don't want to be caught flat-footed in something like this."



      Said Dr. Harry Hull, the state's epidemiologist: "People who understand what is happening and who have the best information available and know how to protect themselves to the best of their ability are less likely to panic."

      This week, federal officials unveiled similar plans for a nationwide response. Pawlenty outlined three possible scenarios, and how the state's response would vary:



      SCENARIO 1:



      BIRD FLU FOUND IN BIRDS IN MINNESOTA.

      Planned responses:

      •Order disposal of infected flocks.

      •Quarantine affected area.

      •Activate State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response.

      •Possibly activate National Guard.

      •Search for human cases through increased surveillance.

      •Increase monitoring of bird flocks and wild birds.



      SCENARIO 2:



      ONE PERSON, OR A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE, INFECTED

      Planned responses:

      •Isolate patients.

      •Give them antiviral drugs to reduce chances of spreading.

      •Find others who have been exposed.

      •Offer treatment to anyone who might be infected.

      •Step up surveillance for more cases.



      SCENARIO 3:



      WIDESPREAD INFECTION

      Planned responses:

      •Declare a state of emergency.

      •Request drugs and, if available, vaccines from federal stockpile.

      •Activate National Guard.

      •Isolate sick patients at home.

      •Close schools, ban public gatherings.

      •Possibly close some worksites, limit transportation.

      •Open temporary hospitals, if needed, in schools or other settings.




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