Regional Pandemic Flu Summit in Middlebury on April 26

DATE: April 20, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The state’s second regional pandemic flu summit hosted by Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC #8 in Middlebury) will be held on Wednesday, April 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Middlebury College at Kirk Alumni Center on Golf Course Road off of Route 30.

To sign up for the Middlebury summit, call Tim Bouton at 802-388-3141 or e-mail: tbouton@sover.net.

Local first responders, emergency management directors, LEPC members, health department, health care, hospital and municipal officials will review Vermont’s pandemic flu preparedness, and discuss how their organizations and communities can prepare for the possibility of a pandemic.

The evening’s agenda will include presentations on pandemic flu by Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health, and on avian (bird flu) by Kerry Rood, DVM, state veterinarian for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

State health, emergency management and homeland security officials will also discuss emergency management coordination, public health response, public information and emergency risk communication and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Pandemic influenza is a worldwide outbreak of a new and severe strain of influenza that can spread easily from person to person. The current outbreak of bird flu is an example of an influenza strain (H5N1) in birds that is causing illness and death in birds and some humans overseas, but it is not a pandemic. There is no evidence that it can easily spread from person to person. Right now, there is no pandemic in the world, but national, state and local governments are working to prepare for the possibility.

The regional summits follow on the Governor's Pandemic Flu Summit on January 12 in Burlington, the third of its kind in the U.S., and a statewide meeting of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns that was held on March 24. The summits are sponsored by the Office of Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Homeland Security.

REGIONAL SUMMITS:

For more information about pandemic influenza and for preparedness planning checklists, visit the Health Department's website at HealthVermont.gov.

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