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The April 2006 newsletter, print version

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Past Issues

   

The April 2006 issue, online version.

   


Mr Smith, Dr Levine, Mr BondNC hosts flu summit:

North Carolina is planning for a pandemic flu and will respond to a pandemic just as it has to past natural disasters, but it needs more federal dollars to be prepared. That was the message from Gov. Mike Easley when he hosted the state’s first pandemic flu summit on March 21, 2006.


Department gets workforce director, new DSS director

New addresses for our websites

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Rowe-West receives national immunization award

   


"Well at Work" is up and running

   

 

Middle school students adopt soldier

NC Disability Determination Services goes electronic

 

 

Central Region Hospital One Year In

   

 

 

   

 

   

 

North Carolina hosts flu summit

North Carolina is planning for a pandemic flu and will respond to a pandemic just as it has to past natural disasters, but it needs more federal dollars to be prepared. That was the message from Gov. Mike Easley when he hosted the state’s first pandemic flu summit on March 21, 2006.

Governor Mike Easley“In North Carolina, we will not look to the federal government to ride in, mid-pandemic, to save us,” Easley said. “We were one of the first states in the nation to create a pandemic flu response plan and our emergency workers will be ready to lead the charge on the front line, but it is going to take a bigger federal investment.”

Easley noted that the federal government has allotted $350 million to be used by state and local government to prepare for a pandemic flu and that North Carolina’s portion of $2.5 million “will not cut it.”

Easley was joined by top federal and state public health and homeland security officials at the summit. At the request of the federal government, all states are holding pandemic flu summits.

Secretary Hooker OdomIn addition to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, who is speaking at all of the state summits, North Carolina also hosted U.S. Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who released checklists to help child cares, colleges and universities prepare for a possible pandemic.

Much of the summit was dedicated to explaining state and federal efforts to plan for a pandemic flu. More information about state efforts, including a video of the summit, is available at www.ncpublichealth.org; more information about federal efforts, including a series of checklists to help citizens, businesses and government prepare for a pandemic flu, are available at www.pandemicflu.gov.

What is a pandemic flu?

Many people find this whole talk of pandemic flu and avian flu confusing. There are three types of flu:

  1. Seasonal flu. This is the regular flu that hits every year during the colder months. Most people have some immunity to this flu and a shot is available. This year’s flu season is just about over, and it was a mild year, with less flu activity than in the past couple of seasons.
  2. Avian flu. Since 1997, birds in Asia have been falling prey to a strain of the flu. While many birds have died as a result of the avian flu, a very small number of humans have also died. These people lived or worked very closely with infected birds. In order for the avian flu to become a big concern to humans, it would have to mutate into something that could readily infect human to human. The fear is that someone infected with the seasonal flu will become infected with the avian flu and the new virus will be so substantially unlike past human viruses that people will not have any immunity to the virus. So, far this hasn’t happened and scientists aren’t sure if it will.
  3. Pandemic flu. This is a new virus. Because people would have no natural immunity and there would not be an immediately available vaccine, large numbers of people would become infected. This is the flu that everyone is planning for. Right now there is no pandemic. No one knows when one will occur, but they do occur routinely; there were three pandemics during the 20th century.

 

 

 

   

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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