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Peer-Reviewed, Online Database Showcases Local, County and State Pandemic Planning
Date:9/24/2007

Downloadable Tools Can Help Communities Protect Citizens by Enhancing Their

Own Plans

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Public health planners have a new tool to help them prepare for one of the most daunting public health emergencies: an influenza pandemic. PandemicPractices.org, launched today by the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and the Pew Center on the States (PCS), a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, brings together more than 130 peer-reviewed promising practices from four countries, 22 states and 33 counties. Compiled as a resource to save communities and states time and resources, the database enables public health professionals to learn from each other and to build on their own pandemic plans.

"The federal government has a national plan in place for a flu epidemic. But that plan will be useless unless states and local communities are ready and able to handle a public health emergency on the ground," said Jim O'Hara, managing director of Health and Human Services Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts. "Communities across the country are facing the challenge of translating broad requirements into local action, often with limited resources. This database is an excellent tool to help public health officials inform their own pandemic planning and may save valuable time and resources that would be spent crafting strategies from scratch."

Every winter, seasonal flu kills approximately 36,000 Americans and hospitalizes more than 200,000. Occasionally, a new flu virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity. Such a virus will spread worldwide, causing illnesses and deaths far beyond the impact of seasonal flu, in an event known as a pandemic. A severe flu pandemic will last longer, sicken more people, and cause more death and disruption than any other health crisis. In addition to the human toll, a flu pandemic will take a s
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SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts
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