Arkansas Officials Advise Locals to Plan for Pandemic - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas Officials Advise Locals to Plan for Pandemic

April 30, 2006 - Posted at 12:53 p.m. CST

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas health and emergency

officials say state and federal agencies could be severely hampered

in responding to a flu pandemic, so individuals, cities and

counties should plan their own responses to a flu pandemic.

A pandemic illness that spreads easily from human to human could

affect 35 to 50 percent of the population in just a few months, and

hundreds of thousands of people in the United States could die.

Doctor Nate Smith of the Arkansas Division of Health says federal

and state agencies may see half their workers out sick or taking

care of sick family members, making it impossible for them to help

others.

State officials say communities should develop a detailed plan

that will get them through several months without federal and state

help in the face of social, medical and economic disruptions caused

by a pandemic. The plan should consider isolation precautions, deal

with mass deaths, and how to keep electricity flowing.

Individuals should have at least two-months supply of food and

medication in case essential supplies are cut off from an area.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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