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S.C. Officials: We're Prepared for Bird Flu

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  • S.C. Officials: We're Prepared for Bird Flu
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State health officials do not believe a deadly strain of bird flu will enter South Carolina, but if it does, they say the state is prepared.

    Officials at Clemson University, the state veterinarian's office and the Department of Natural Resources have increased testing at
    chicken farms, at auction sites and among wild birds.

    State officials hope to receive at least three million in new federal money to help prepare for a flu pandemic.

  • #2
    Re: S.C. Officials: We're Prepared for Bird Flu

    "State health officials do not believe a deadly strain of bird flu will enter South Carolina..."

    Does South Carolina have a force field that keeps out bird flu?

    Probably not.

    This also makes me question how prepared they really are.

    Are they prepared for the case that bird flu doesn't enter the state of South Carolina?

    Because if that is their level of preparedness than "Charleston we have a problem."


    • #3
      Re: S.C. Officials: We're Prepared for Bird Flu

      SC steps up efforts to prepare for avian flu

      Associated Press

      <!-- begin body-content -->COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina agricultural officials say the state is prepared for an outbreak of bird flu, even though one is not expected here.
      The Clemson University Animal Diagnostic Center in Columbia has increased testing for avian flu, including at the state's 631 chicken farms, and the state veterinarian's office is hiring extra employees to test at 20 auctions and flea markets where live birds might be sold.
      The state Natural Resources Department also is preparing for testing of migrating ducks and other wild birds when they come back to South Carolina in the fall. That plan includes getting help from hunters and possibly testing during routine check-ins by hunters at wildlife management areas.
      "Our emphasis is, you have to get it at the source, and the source is birds," Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator for veterinary services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told a Pandemic Influenza Summit in Columbia last month.
      Mild strains of bird flu commonly appear in the United States, but officials are worried about H5N1, a deadly variation spreading through Asia, Europe and Africa. Scientists think the deadly flu would most likely be carried into the United States by a wild bird migrating from a country suffering from an outbreak.
      It has killed 110 people, and scientists fear it could mutate into a form that spreads more easily among humans.
      "It's important to know that this isn't just the flu," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said at the Columbia summit. "It's an aggressive killer when it occurs."
      Federal health officials are working on developing a vaccine and the nation is stockpiling antiviral drugs that could help treat people who become ill.
      The key, however, has been for states to be prepared - even states like South Carolina - where an initial outbreak is unlikely.
      "South Carolina is not considered a high-priority area of arrival of the (avian flu) virus," said Derrell Shipes, wildlife biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources. "That's not to say it couldn't arrive here."
      South Carolina's counties and major cities will have to draw up plans for how they could handle a pandemic, said Dr. Jerry Gibson, state epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Environmental Control.


      • #4
        Re: S.C. Officials: We're Prepared for Bird Flu

        I guess it's official.

        South Carolina has a Force Field that protects them bird flu.

        Where can I pick one of those up????