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Alaska utility workers may get flu drug priority


ANCHORAGE, June 29 — Utility workers in Alaska's biggest city may get priority doses of scarce supplies of antiviral medicines in the case of a bird flu pandemic to ensure continued heat and electricity, an Anchorage official said Thursday.


Anchorage plans to stockpile Tamiflu and other antiviral medicines, but the city wants to make sure that utility workers keep coming to work so residents can stay warm in Alaska's cold climate.


"It may be that we may have to use that as some sort of incentive to keep the people who keep our gas and electricity on coming to work," said Barbara Wooley, director of the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services.


Health officials are formulating comprehensive pandemic flu preparedness plans in the case of an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Alaska, considered a likely first point of entry for avian influenza in North America since it sits at a crossroads for migratory birds from Asia.


Anchorage's plan calls for a tiered system of distributing antiviral medicines and vaccines, once they are developed. The municipality has yet to secure any supply of antiviral drugs, Wooley said at a public meeting.


An alternative plan would be to be to ensure that utility workers who stay on the job are put on a list of priority medicine recipients -- along with people like health-care workers -- should they become infected, she said.


Others who might be considered high-priority recipients of antiviral medicines could include workers at the Anchorage port where most goods shipped to the city arrive.


MSN - Alaska flu plans

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I wish I could remember what it was I saw on the news the a few nights ago. It was either that each state is on its own to prepare or it was that the states expect each person to be doing their own preparing. Sorry, but I can't remember just want it was.


I'm glad too that Alaska is doing something about it. I think the figure Alaska will be the first hit with it or something like that.


I guess that is one reason for us each to prepare and be ready for anything.


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California just set aside a bunch of money to prepare for a pandemic. Governor Arnold said that after he has learned about the bird flu that he believes that we are not prepared as we should be. That was really good to hear. I think I just heard that last week!

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Try going to your state's website, and look for links. Health, Health Department, Disaster Prep, etc... just look.


You may be surprised at what's there.



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The Texas state preparation seems to be pretty good, but locally, I can't find anything. Nothing on the county level, and the Red Cross here is responsible for three large counties. The hospital where I & DH both work has a general disaster plan, but nothing specific. I think we would mostly be on our own.

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