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Pandemic Influenza for First Responders: The Basics

Broadcast Date: July 19, 2007
(1 hour, 30 minutes)

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Program Overview

A flu pandemic is a global outbreak of the flu. During a flu pandemic the disease spreads quickly from person to person, affecting many people in a short period of time. Influenza is caused by a virus, which infects the nose, throat and lungs. The infection can range from mild to life-threatening and can lead to dangerous complications, such as pneumonia or dehydration and can also make chronic problems worse.

There are many flu viruses, and they continually change and usually the changes are slow and predictable. But if a flu virus mutates significantly, it could result in a new kind of flu. Nobody would be immune to the new virus, so everybody would be at risk. If this new virus spreads easily between people, a pandemic could occur. Pandemic flu is not the same as seasonal flu which generally strikes fewer people and can be prevented by getting a yearly flu shot. Seasonal flu puts fewer people at risk for fatal complications.

In the event of a pandemic outbreak, it is estimated that millions could become ill in the U.S. If the pandemic is severe, it could kill 2 million people in the U.S. and if it is mild, an estimated 200,000 people could die. What would happen to the first responder infrastructure in the event of a pandemic?

The purpose of this broadcast is to introduce pandemic influenza information to first responders: what it is and is not, legal aspects and continuity of operations and how the first responder should use this information to educate and plan their respective organizations.

Faculty

Dennis Blair
State EMS Director
Office of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma

Cindy Lesinger
Pandemic Influenza and Smallpox Coordinator
Center for Emergency Preparedness

Kelly Stevens, MS
Director of Planning
Center for Emergency Preparedness

John Wible
General Counsel

Target Audience

First Responders, Emergency Management Agency personnel, Local and State Law Enforcement, 911 Dispatchers, Emergency Medical Service providers, Fire Service personnel and other personnel who might participate in emergency response activities.

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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