Federal officials say Iowa’s Health Department and other agencies are ready to handle a major outbreak of "Bird flu" or other type of disease. Allison Walding of the Health Department says the review gives the state overall good marks.
She says the assessment looked at the operating plans to combat "pandemic influenza" and was prepared by the U.S. Homeland Security Council. Eleven Iowa agencies were a part of the assessment and Iowa was deemed to be "adequately prepared" to respond and recover from an influenza outbreak.
Walding says the state continually trains and plans in case there would be an outbreak. Walding says the Health Department constantly monitors outbreaks of pandemic influenza around the world. She cannot say what the likelihood of an outbreak might be, but says Iowa would be prepared if it did happen. Walding says this gives residents of the state some assurance that government could respond in an outbreak.
Walding says they did very well in the scoring of the assessment, although there are some areas to improve on. But overall she says "Iowans should rest assured that we are prepared." The analysis looked at preparation exercises held by the Health Department and other agencies, including Public Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation. For the complete U.S. Homeland Security Council Assessment report, visit www.pandemicflu.gov .