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HHS hears community leaders' ideas on pandemic readiness

June 14, 2007

One hundred leaders from the business, healthcare, faith, and civic communities met with US Department of Health and Human Services officials to discuss how to motivate individuals and families to prepare for an influenza pandemic. Personal preparedness "is a message that needs to surround everyone. They need to hear it from their pastors, from their employers, from their physicians, and from everyone in a position of responsibility. And they need to keep hearing it. In fact, they need to hear it even more after the news media loses interest." "Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate." It is critical for everyone to prepare for possible pandemic flu. People are encouraged to (1) store extra food and other daily supplies to make it easier to stay home for a prolonged period of time, (2) learn and practice proper hand-washing, (3) use safe cough and sneeze techniques to limit the spread of illnesses, and (4) stay home and avoid others during illness.

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