Missouri Prepares for Possible Flu Outbreak
Missouri's Homeland Security Council got a lesson on the possibility of an influenza outbreak in the United States. Council members took notes and listened as safety experts told them what would happen if there were an influenza outbreak close to home.
"It is important to understand that homeland safety can come in all shapes and forms," said Mark James, the Director of the Department of Public Safety.
Experts said the Avian virus could move into North America from bird migration routes. Vaccine production is one the federal government's top preventive measure.
"They are wanting to switch from an aid-based culture vaccine that takes about a number of months to a cell-based culture that can produce a vaccine a lot more quickly," said Aaron Winslow of Public Health Emergency Coordination.
The council emphasized preparedness for hospitals as well as for people at home.
The Department of Health and Senior Services gives out DVD's, called Ready In 3, which shows how to prepare in case of any type of emergency. There is no way to predict if or when an Avian flu outbreak would occur.
There have been 122 cases of the Avian flu in Asia that have caused 62 deaths.