Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Idaho: Pandemic BlogEx Begins

# 2142

An intriguing pandemic exercise, with an emphasis on public awareness, has begun in Idaho this week. Darin Letzring, the All Hazards Planner with the Southeastern District Health Department in Pocatello, was kind enough to email me with a heads up.

Starting today, and running for the next two weeks, a pandemic scenario will build on their website and the public is invited to comment on their reactions as it progresses.

Today, the simulated pandemic outbreak begins - and participants are introduced to the scenario by a well-produced 5 minute `newscast' outlining the outbreak, and the efforts to contain it.

July 15: Reports of Pandemic Flu widespread in Asia, intermittent in Europe.

July 14, 2008


News reports state that the strain of influenza in Asia is behaving much like what is expected to cause pandemic flu. This strain of flu is easily transmitted from person to person, and humans have no natural immunity to it. The dense populations in Asia and India have created a firestorm spread of the diseas

e, and hospitals are being overwhelmed by patients sick with influenza-like symptoms. European countries have several locations that have been hit by this flu strain.

This newscast is archived on YOUTUBE here.

Instructions on the blogsite on how to participate are as follows:

How To Participate In The Exercise

The blog exercise is meant to inform the public about the impacts of pandemic flu and create community discussion via the comments. You can participate by taking 20 minutes each day to read the scenario update and provide a comment about how the situation affects you.

How to leave a comment: At the bottom of each post there, you’ll see the word “comment” that might also include “No Comments” or “3 Comments.” Click on that and then enter your comment in the “Reply” box. It’s a little hard to find, but please take the effort.

You can also review the links for other preparedness information.

Finally, take everything you’ve learned and prepare your family or workplace for pandemic flu!

Like last year's Pandemic Blog Summit, this is a fascinating and innovative use of the Internet to try to raise public pandemic awareness.

Over the next two weeks I hope my readers will take time each day to visit their site, to follow along, and perhaps even participate.

I'll be following along as well on this blog.