A Ride on the Wild Side
This cowboy had a wild ride but appeared to hang in there during this year’s Cadogan Rodeo. Action was held on Saturday and Sunday amid wet weather on both days. More pictures in this paper. ©Provost News Photo.
Up to 10,000 in Region Would Need Medical Help if Pandemic Hits
East Central Health is making plans in case a new type of Avian or other type of influenza hits here as part of a world-wide wave of sickness.

Medical officer of health for this health region, Dr. Gerhard Benadé who was contacted on his cell phone by The Provost News near Camrose said that a process has begun to deal with a possible outbreak that could infect thousands of people.

It is unknown if the Avian flu will break out world wide but precautions are being taken.

There are 110,000 people living in the health region and based on the number of people who were infected by the Spanish flu, 20 percent to 30 percent of residents may have some symptoms of the pandemic flu “should it happen.” That would mean 20,000 to 30,000 with symptoms and “that’s a lot, but most of them will be able to care for themselves at home with support.” But Benadé says there may be 5,000 to 10,000 who would need medical attention because they feel that sick. They will have to be assessed by health care workers and some of them will get sick too, he says. There will be “a lot of pressure on the system” due to such an outbreak, on top of normal medical issues. “We will have to think very carefully about essential services.”

He does not know how many people in this region might die from the disease, if it breaks out.
Benadé was asked who would get vaccine to help ward off the sickness. “That’s a good question” and he explained that when vaccine becomes available the initial supply will be limited during first production. It has not yet been determined who will get that first supply and that it depends of what age groups were being hit hardest.

Vaccine would be administered by a public health immunization program similar to fall immunization programs now in place, but in more accelerated way.

Locally personal protective equipment has been stockpiled already for medical workers and Benadé says in March a regional inter-agency pandemic workshop was conducted when all health centres, schools and community groups were invited to discuss an outlined plan. Municipalities are being recommended to continue discussions on a local basis. “We have asked that those meetings be set up over the next few months” that would probably involve the health centre, hospital staff and directors of disaster preparedness of municipalities.

Communication in the event of a possible outbreak “will be hugely important” in dealing with vaccinations and where all sick people might be taken. The physician said that there is not a lot of space available in the health region hospitals for such an outbreak (where the sickest would be treated) so others could be cared for at home, schools or even hotels . . .“those would be options each health centre would have to work out.”

Initially current antiviral medications available like Tamiflu that works for the regular influenza season might be useful “but don't know that yet”. Those vaccines might diminish the severity of a new flu strain.

Rest of story in May 31 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask : "Is Sports Competition Good or Bad?"
. . . and we heard opinions from David Harlow, Janelle Trenerry, Chris Heck, Kendra Brown, and Luke Rehman.
Check out the May 31 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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