When it comes to avian influenza – or bird flu – on the South
Coast, the question is “not if, but when,” health officials told
Santa Barbara County supervisors on Tuesday. Considering Center for
Disease Control (CDC) predictions of up to 36,000 deaths statewide
from the disease, the board directed staff to hire a bird flu
expert to oversee the county’s plans of action and coordinate their
implementation when necessary. The county also plans to develop a
public system to disseminate information about the disease.
According to the CDC, there have been 191 known cases of human bird
flu in the past three years worldwide; 108 of these resulted in
death. While the disease has yet to arrive on U.S. soil, experts
anticipate it will show up in the next few months, probably in
Alaska. Bird flu has not yet mutated into a virus communicable
between humans, which would make it a true pandemic.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.