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.