Flu Pandemic can be deadly - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flu Pandemic can be deadly

June 16, 2006

Albany - - The danger of a flu pandemic is increasing. Usually, flu vaccines protect most of us. But health leaders worry a new strain like bird flu could end up spreading uncontrollably,and we need to be ready.

If you want to avoid the flu, you can wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and keep your distance from others who are sick. But how do you prepare for a massive outbreak of the flu?

You can't predict when it will strike.

"We don't know when, we don't know where. But it can happen and that's why wer'e here today, to prepare," says Dr. Jacqueline Grant, District Health Director.

Avian influenza, or bird flu, as well as an influenza pandemic can happen at anytime and it can be deadly. Just take a look at history.  1918 was the worst year, more than 500,000 people died in the U.S. In 1957, 70,000. And in 1968, 34,000 people died nation-wide, 700,000 world-wide. That's what makes it a pandemic - widespread death.

In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of people have to take a trip to the hospital because of influenza.

"36,000 people die annually from flu. When there's a pandemic, you're talking much higher numbers that can easily get into the millions," Grant says.

So area health leaders want community leaders to develop plans for their businesses and their families on how to respond if there's a pandemic here.

 "There are some people that are doing some work around pandemic influenza planning, there are others that are not," says Julie Miller with Emergency Preparedness.

It's best to do it now, she says, because chances are you won't think about it if you push it to the side.

"It is a little different than our traditional tornado warning, hurricane alerts, etc. but it is something that is real. It is something that is very much on the radar, something that peopole need to be aware of," Miller says.

So here's what you can do. Store a 2 week supply of water and food in case you can't make it to the store or the store is out of supplies. If you're on prescription drugs, ask your doctor for an extra supply. And have any non prescription durgs on hand.

Representatives from area health departments will hold similiar forums in other counties over the next couple of months.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=flupandemic/brent

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • New computer program to help police fight gang crime

    New computer program to help police fight gang crime

    Thursday, June 22 2017 7:41 PM EDT2017-06-22 23:41:17 GMT

    A new computer program will soon help Albany Police keep track of gang members' crimes. Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards discussed the new program with the Gang Task Force Thursday.

    More >>

    A new computer program will soon help Albany Police keep track of gang members' crimes. Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards discussed the new program with the Gang Task Force Thursday.

    More >>
  • Valdosta city leaders unanimously approve budget with $8.1 million increase

    Valdosta city leaders unanimously approve budget with $8.1 million increase

    Thursday, June 22 2017 6:47 PM EDT2017-06-22 22:47:08 GMT
    (Source:WALB)(Source:WALB)

    The Valdosta City Council unanimously approved a budget increase of more than $8 million Thursday night. It's the biggest increase the city has proposed in more than a decade. "We feel it's a good budget, our taxes are lower than our peer cities than those we compete against, and we feel that we're meeting the needs of our community," said Larry Hanson, City manager. 

    More >>

    The Valdosta City Council unanimously approved a budget increase of more than $8 million Thursday night. It's the biggest increase the city has proposed in more than a decade. "We feel it's a good budget, our taxes are lower than our peer cities than those we compete against, and we feel that we're meeting the needs of our community," said Larry Hanson, City manager. 

    More >>
  • Lowndes Co. officials focus on 'building a kit' during hurricane season

    Lowndes Co. officials focus on 'building a kit' during hurricane season

    Thursday, June 22 2017 6:45 PM EDT2017-06-22 22:45:17 GMT
    (Source:WALB)(Source:WALB)

    Now that hurricane season is underway, Lowndes county officials want to make sure people are prepared.  Each week they're focusing on a different topic and this week is on the importance of building an emergency kit. 

    More >>

    Now that hurricane season is underway, Lowndes county officials want to make sure people are prepared.  Each week they're focusing on a different topic and this week is on the importance of building an emergency kit. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly