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Pandemic Influenza: Alabama Schools Need to Plan Now

Broadcast Date: April 2, 2007
(1 hour, 30 minutes)

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Handouts (7 pages)

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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 changes a lot, 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 becomes able to spread easily between people, a pandemic could occur. Pandemic flu is not the same as seasonal flu. Seasonal flu generally strikes fewer people and seasonal flu 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 education system in the event of a pandemic?

The conference faculty will address the need for awareness and preparation for the potential impact of a pandemic to our schools. Presented during National Public Health Week, this conference is one event in a series of activities occurring in Alabama to Take The First Step - Preparedness and Public Health Threats.

Faculty

Joseph B. Morton, PhD
State Superintendent
Alabama Department of Education

Sue Adams, EdD
Director of Prevention and Support Services
Alabama Department of Education

Donald E. Williamson, MD
State Health Officer
Alabama Department of Public Health

Target Audience

Specifically for Alabama education agencies, superintendents, principals, assistant principals, counselors, teachers, support personnel, personnel managers, other decision makers, school chief financial officers, custodian of funds and parents.

Contact Hours

None for this program

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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