Regional Pandemic Flu Summits in St. Albans (May 15) and Brattleboro (May 16)

DATE: May 8, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The state’s regional pandemic flu summits, hosted by Local Emergency Planning Committees, will continue in St. Albans (LEPC #4), Monday, May 15 at the Comfort Inn, and in Brattleboro (LEPC #6), Tuesday May 16 at the Quality Inn. Both summits are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Comfort Inn in St. Albans is located on Fairfax Road/Route 104 just north of Interstate 89 Exit 19. The Quality Inn in Brattleboro is located on US Route 5 just north of Exit 3 on Interstate 91.

To sign up for the St. Albans summit, call Shaun Coleman at 802-524-5958 or email: scoleman@nrpcvt.com. Contacts for the Brattleboro event are Mike Empey and Jim Matteau, 802-257-4547 or email: wrc@sover.net.

Local first responders, emergency management directors, LEPC members, health department, health care, hospital and municipal officials will review Vermont’s pandemic flu preparedness and discuss how their organizations and communities can prepare.

The evening’s agenda will include presentations on pandemic flu by Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health, and on avian (bird flu) by Kerry Rood, DVM, state veterinarian for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

State health, emergency management and homeland security officials will also discuss emergency management coordination, public health response, public information and emergency risk communication and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Pandemic influenza is a worldwide outbreak of a new and severe strain of influenza that can spread easily from person to person. The current outbreak of bird flu (influenza strain H5N1) is not a pandemic but has caused illness and death in birds and some humans overseas. There is no evidence that it can easily spread from person to person. World, national, state and local governments are working to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic.

The regional summits follow on the Governor's Pandemic Flu Summit on January 12 in Burlington, the third of its kind in the United States. A statewide meeting of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns was held on March 24 to discuss pandemic planning and preparedness. The summits are sponsored by the Office of Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Homeland Security.

REGIONAL SUMMITS

For more information about pandemic influenza and for preparedness planning checklists, visit the Health Department's website at HealthVermont.gov.

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