Albany leaders learn City's bird flu plan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany leaders learn City's bird flu plan

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May 2, 2006

Albany - Albany emergency officials are already preparing for the bird flu, and they say you can too. The bird flu has now been found in birds in the U.S, but no human cases have been reported here. But Albany Emergency Management officials are working on a plan to handle a possible outbreak.

EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught says everyone should have a 72-hour emergency supply kit, with food, water and medicines, in their home. If people start getting sick, emergency officials might quarantine people in their homes to stop the virus from spreading. In that case, EMA would bring health care too you.

"You might actually call a nurse at the hospital and describe your symptoms and then medication can be delivered to your house. So people don't have to come into the hospital and spread the virus. We're looking at what's called socialized distancing, which means we'll try to keep people from gathering in groups," said Vaught.

Vaught says the federal government only has enough vaccine for 15% of the American population but are working to stockpile more. That vaccine might not even work on the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu. But Vaught says people should not panic. The virus has only been spread from bird to human but not from person to person.

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