10/06/2005

AP Wire | 10/05/2005 | Confining bird flu abroad key to U.S. plan

Xenophobia as national policy... Sigh! -- law

Confining bird flu abroad key to U.S. plan

LAURAN NEERGAARD

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Containing any bird flu outbreak wherever it first strikes is a centerpiece of U.S. preparations for a potential influenza pandemic, the nation's health secretary said Wednesday, just before a trip to Asia to shore up international cooperation.

If it appears that bird flu has mutated to easily infect people, federal health officials would rush overseas to help limit its spread. That is the first step in the Bush administration's soon-to-be-updated plans for dealing with the next worldwide influenza outbreak.

"If you can get there fast enough and apply good public health techniques of isolating and quarantining and medicating and vaccinating the people in that area, you can ... squelch it or you can delay it," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in outlining the pandemic plan for The Associated Press.

He compared the plan to preparing for a forest fire during a drought: Watch for the spark and race to extinguish it before it spreads.

To further that goal, more than 65 countries and international organizations were to participate in discussions Thursday at the State Department about preparations for the possibility of worsening bird flu. Next week, Leavitt plans to meet with leaders of the Southeast Asia countries that are the epicenter of the virus.

AP Wire | 10/05/2005 | Confining bird flu abroad key to U.S. plan

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home