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The federal government has just updated its plan on pandemic flu preparedness and response. OK, so it’s a little late for the 2011-12 flu season, but at least we’ll all be ready for the fall, right? Under the revisions, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. will collaborate on animal and pandemic flu viruses. Sounds like a good plan, considering how heavy Mexico has been hit in recent years, and we all know how easy it is to travel from Mexico to the U.S. Under the revisions, the countries will offer mutual assistance.
“H1N1 provided a stern reminder that diseases don’t respect national borders and can spread rapidly in our interconnected world, so protecting health requires cooperation and collaboration among countries,” said Nicole Lurie, MD, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS.
In the meantime, more help might be on the way. The Senate unanimously approved the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization (S. 1855), which reauthorizes the Hospital Preparedness Program, the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, the Medical Reserve Corps, and other preparedness activities through 2016. The legislation must be reconciled with a House-passed version of the bill (H.R. 2405).
As far as getting your own house in order, there are a multitude of resources. Consider these:
That’s a lot of help. So spring into action and prepare now, before the tornado, flood, fire, pandemic, or other disaster comes your way. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your staffs and communities.