Federal Official Tells Columbus Audience To Prepare For Flu Pandemic

The nation’s top health official warned Ohio today that the Federal Government won’t be able to come to any state’s rescue if the bird flu mutates into a nationwide or worldwide pandemic that kills humans.

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told nearly 700 local health and disaster officials meeting in Columbus that it’s up to each community to plan for the worst, a flu outbreak that would kill an estimated 2 million Americans. Ohio has just received $3,200,000 federal dollars to help it prepare for a pandemic. Leavitt is recommending that even households prepare by stockpiling food and water, in case there’s a time when it’s recommended that people isolate themselves to stop the flu from spreading.