Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Still loose in Pennsylvania but not to worry

Pennsylvania now declares itself able to protect its citizens from bird flu. Of course they have yet to tell them how. This is the state, remember, that also declared its flu plan a state secret:
. . . Pennsylvania officials say their pandemic plan includes sensitive details - such as phone numbers and vaccination storage sites - that could devastate response efforts if the information got into the wrong hands.

"We are walking on a knife's edge," said Adrian R. King Jr., director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. "We want to act in good faith to give information. At the same time, we have an obligation for operational security." (from a story quoted in our post
"Warning, Idiots loose in Pennsylvania," May 20.)
Don't worry. It's a heckuva plan, Brownie.
According to State Health Secretary, Dr. Calvin B. Johnson and state Agriculture Secretary, Dennis Wolff, measures that have been put in place include surveillance and detection systems, both animal and human. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture states that it has what is regarded as one of the most comprehensive avian flu plans in the Country. Additionally, Pennsylvania has one of the best human disease surveillance systems in the nation, including being able to receive real time reports from hospitals, public health departments, physicians and pharmacies on possible disease outbreaks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has worked out a plan for dealing with an outbreak if one would occur, with hospitals, EMS providers and other health care organizations on the county, regional and state level. (TriState News)
The plan is so good that if a pandemic happens, Pennsylvania will be in the same boat as everyone else:
Dr. Johnson emphasized that if the H5N1 avian flu were to spread, it would be a global concern and Pennsylvania would be working with public health partners from around the world to deal with the outbreak. At this time, there is no vaccine against this virus.
Very comforting. Maybe you'll tell us what the plan is? No hurry. Wouldn't want a terrorist to find out where to get vaccinated.