Although no cases of swine flu have
been reported in Alaska
thus far, state and local emergency planning groups are mobilizing in
preparation for a possible outbreak.
A teleconference sponsored by the
Alaska Department of Health and Human Services was held Wednesday. Duane
Dvorak, associate planner with the Kodiak Island Borough's Community
Development Department, took part in the teleconference. He said the state is
taking the lead on Alaska's
response to a potential swine flu threat, and advising local communities on
preparedness. He said that commonly known preventative measures bear repeating
until more specific response measures can be determined.
-- (Dvorak 1 42 sec. "They are coordinating with ... transmitted through contact.")
said the World Health Organization's normal threat level for seasonal influenza
generally ranges from one to three, but that it recently raised the threat
level to four. As a result, Kodiak's Emergency Services Counsel and the Local
Emergency Planning Committee will hold a special meeting Thursday (today) to
discuss contingency plans at the local level. Dvorak hopes to involve local
government officials, the Coast Guard, State Troopers and health care providers
in the meeting.
-- (Dvorak 2 40 sec. "Those are the folks who ... as
this sort of plays out.")
said the borough is in the initial stages of implementing the Kodiak Pandemic
Influenza Annex, which was a plan adopted in January. He said contingency plans
for a possible swine flu threat in the area are in pre-planning stages.
-- (Dvorak 3 33 sec. "So this is really going to ...
these plans will mesh together.")
According to the
Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, no confirmed cases of swine flu
have been reported in the state. The W.H.O. is reporting that nine countries
have officially reported 148 cases of the A/H1N1 virus, as its known, and that
the U.S. government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed cases, with one death.
The state of Alaska
has about 80,000 courses of antiviral medications in a state stockpile, and DHSS
has ordered approximately 20,000 additional courses, which it expects to arrive
in about a week.