<nyt_headline type=" " version="1.0">Preparing for Pandemics </nyt_headline>
<nyt_byline type=" " version="1.0"></nyt_byline><nyt_text> </nyt_text> The New York Times -
To the Editor:
“What If a Flu Like 1918’s Broke Out Now?” (regional sections, March 23) ends with a comment by New York’s deputy commissioner for public health that the decrease in pandemic flu financing for local health departments “means the system is a little bit thinner.”
Speaking for a local health department, I think this reduction in financing is less like skipping dessert and more like a starvation diet.
For our department, it’s the difference between having one (or two) full-time staff members working on local pandemic planning versus using other minimal resources.
Pandemic planning is both costly and complicated. If we are at all serious about being prepared, local planning efforts must be supported.
Director, Cleveland Department of Public Health
Cleveland, March 24, 2008