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Press Release

Release Date: May 18, 2006

Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



Many public health authorities are concerned that the made-for-TV movie titled "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America" aired Tuesday May 9 by the ABC television network may cause undue panic.

Authorities stress the fact that the movie is a fictional account of an outbreak of avian influenza and not a documentary.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stresses that the movie "is a work of fiction designed to entertain and not a factual accounting of a real world event."

It is important to note that there is no widespread outbreak of avian influenza ("flu pandemic") at this time.

Avian influenza (H5N1 virus) has not appeared in the U.S.

Avian influenza is almost exclusively a disease of birds.

According to the World Health Organization, only 207 confirmed cases of the disease have been reported worldwide since 2003.

Virtually all cases of humans contracting the disease are a result of contact with infected birds.

Arrival of the H5N1 virus in the U.S. would not mean the start of a pandemic.

For a pandemic to begin, the H5N1 virus would have to mutate into a form which is easily transmitted from human to human.

Health organizations and governments worldwide are monitoring the virus and preparing for the possibility of a pandemic.

While there is no pandemic at this time, it is important for everyone to prepare for a possible outbreak because some community businesses and services could be disrupted or closed, including:

Below are some suggestions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which will help individuals prepare for a flu pandemic or other emergency which might interrupt normal business activities.

More information is available at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/.

Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families

You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.

1. To plan for a pandemic:

2. To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

3. Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home:

Examples of food and non-perishables

Examples of medical, health, and emergency supplies

Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups

Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment

Protein or fruit bars

Soap and water, or alcohol-based hand wash

Dry cereal or granola

Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Peanut butter or nuts

Thermometer

Dried fruit

Anti-diarrheal medication

Crackers

Vitamins

Canned juices

Fluids with electrolytes

Bottled water

Cleansing agent/soap

Canned or jarred baby food and formula

Flashlight

Pet food

Batteries

 

Portable radio

 

Manual can opener

 

Garbage bags

 

Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers

Family Emergency Health Information Sheet

It is important to think about health issues that could arise if an influenza pandemic occurs, and how they could affect you and your loved ones. For example, if a mass vaccination clinic is set up in your community, you may need to provide as much information as you can about your medical history when you go, especially if you have a serious health condition or allergy.

Create a family emergency health plan using this information. Fill in information for each family member in the space provided. Like much of the planning for a pandemic, this can also help prepare for other emergencies.

Family Member Information:

Family Member

Blood Type

Allergies

Past/ Current Medical Conditions

Current Medications/ Dosages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Contacts Form

Local personal emergency contact

 

Out-of-town personal emergency contact

 

Hospitals:

 

Family physician(s)

 

State public health department
(See list on www.cdc.gov/other.htm#states)

 

Pharmacy

 

Employer contact and emergency information

 

School contact and emergency information

 

Religious/spiritual organization