Alameda County Prepares for Flu Pandemic
Alameda County officials on Tuesday held a pandemic preparedness forum that included representatives from law enforcement, community groups, schools, hospitals and city governments, as well as firefighters, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The county health department expects to receive about $100,000 for pandemic preparedness this fiscal year and $400,000 in future years, according to county Health Officer Anthony Iton.
The county has been airing a preparedness program on Comcast Cable, developing a pandemic flu pocket guide and building a database of volunteers who would help during an emergency.
County officials said they also must make stronger ties with county residents who likely would be the first exposed to avian flu -- such as veterinarians, environmental health officials and the military.
Officials expect avian flu will arrive in California this fall when migratory birds pass through the state. However, CDC this week released a study that suggested the avian flu virus might not easily mutate into a strain that would cause a pandemic (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 8/2).