Tennessee’s health department unveiled its new response plan in case of a pandemic flu outbreak. The state has had a plan since 1999, but new federal guidelines issued last year prompted health officials to revise it.
Kelly Moore is the Medical Director for the state’s Immunization Program. She says department officials completely overhauled Tennessee’s response.
“What we have now is a much more clear understanding of what hospitals can be doing to help prepare for a surge of patients. We also made significant changes in recommendations about vaccines and antiviral drugs because we have a better idea right now of what resources we would have for vaccines or antiviral drugs that we didn’t have when we created previous plans.”
Moore says the state’s new response plan will help officials prepare for the H5N1 Avian flu in case the strain is discovered here. That flu is being monitored by world health officials because of cases that have occurred in Asia. Though bird flu has not been reported in the U.S., the federal government is currently testing migratory birds for the disease.