Archive for Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Area residents invited to attend forum on risks from bird flu

July 12, 2006

Bird flu has gained international attention in recent years.

Although no cases have been reported yet in the United States, residents should be prepared, according to an area health official. Eileen Filbert, Jefferson County Health Department administrator, said that in the event that bird flu or another virus is reported and becomes a pandemic in the United States, residents should be ready.

Filbert's department has held forums throughout Jefferson County since March on bird flu and the potential for pandemics. The health department has averaged about two forums a month, Filbert said.

And Monday, a forum will be held for the first time in McLouth. The gathering, sponsored by the McLouth Kiwanis Club, will begin at 7 p.m. in the McLouth High School auditorium.

Filbert said she encourages area residents to attend the event.

"There are things people need to think about if things like that come up," Filbert said. "Home medications, 10 days of food."

Getting prepared

¢ A forum on bird flu, and the potential for pandemics, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the McLouth High School auditorium.

¢ Business owners, along with other members of the public, are encouraged to attend.

¢ The McLouth Kiwanis Club is sponsoring the forum.

Filbert said residents didn't need to head to the grocery store and stock up on 10 days of extra food during their next visit to the store, but she said purchasing extra food over time makes for a good plan.

"If the grocery store employees should be impacted badly, and they couldn't be open, what would you do for groceries?" Filbert asked. "When you go each time, grab another can of green beans."

Although the elderly and children are thought to be the most at risk when it comes to influenza, Filbert said a pandemic could affect all ages.

"All of us are going to be at risk because we won't have an immunity without having a time frame to get those vaccines prepared," Filbert said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.