Houston County Flu Pandemic Drill

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

It is estimated that if a severe flu pandemic sweeps across the United States it could kill two million people and cause millions more to become ill.

Houston County is taking measures to protect residents in this area if an event like this were to occur.

"By combining our efforts we know what each agency can do," said Peggy Blakeny of the Houston County Health Department.

Representatives from area hospitals, health departments and school systems participated in a table top discussion Friday to create a plan to deal with a flu pandemic.

There they discussed the impact school closures would have on a community and talked about a few ways to protect against the virus.

Experts say to protect against influenza you and your family, you should keep on hand a mask, hand sanitizer and a week’s supply of food, in case an event like this happens.

It's a question of when not if, pandemic flu is likely to occur.

Experts say while the virus is very serious there are simple precautions individuals can take to prevent spreading the disease to others.

Influenza Ex. Facilitator Andrew Rucks said, "One of the best things a person can do is stay home if they are sick."

In the last 300 years there have been 11 pandemics of influenza. The last took place in 1968 so many experts are saying the United States is over due for the next outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding these programs to help prepare the nation for an outbreak.

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