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Quebec arming itself to combat a potential influenza pandemic

Quebec is gearing itself for a probable influenza pandemic, and its effects on 2.6 million people. Everyone in Quebec seem to be gripped with concern and at a press conference , Health Minister Philippe// Couillard said "The government is taking measures so that from the beginning of the epidemic we're able to limit the number of hospitalizations and deaths.''

Quebec has its plan ready, to face a worst-case possibility, of the initial pandemic wave affecting 35% of the population, amounting to nearly 2.6 million Quebecers - it could lead to 34000 being infected and 8500, dying due to the outbreak.

The Action plan lists out the possibility of a pandemic looming large with the H5N1 virus, necessitating the availability of vaccines and antiviral drugs.” If there is a shortage, special security measures will be put in place to protect the storage and distribution of vaccines and antivirals,'' the plan says.

The health minister has expressed a prayer, hoping such a situation of a pandemic does not ever arise, "What is obvious today, it should be obvious, is that everyone here is working together to prepare our society and the health-care network for the occurrence of this pandemic, which, again, we hope will never happen,'' he said.

A flu pandemic will be like the last nail into the Coffin for Quebec's economy, but knowing the extent of preparedness of the province for a crisis , the 1998 ice storm, being a case in point, it will not come as a surprise that Quebec emerges out of any grave crisis.


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