LLRIB Getting Ready For Flu Pandemic

Monday, July 25, 2005 at 14:58



Health workers at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band are taking steps to minimize the possible effects of a global flu pandemic.


Experts have been saying for years now the world is overdue for a flu epidemic.


Historically, outbreaks have happened every 30 years and claimed millions of lives.


The fallout from a future outbreak is not believed to pose as serious a risk in North America due to our medical expertise with infection control, but it’s still something that has top health officials worried.


Alison Taylor-Leplante is a health nurse at the Lac La Ronge Indian band and the interim planning coordinator of a committee designed to deal with the issue.


She says a flu outbreak on a northern reserve would be very serious due to the high number of people living in close proximity to one another.


She also says a worldwide flu pandemic would likely introduce a bug to First Nations people that they haven’t seen before.


She adds much of the planning committee’s focus is to raise awareness among band members about what can be done to prevent infections from spreading — things as simple as washing their hands and not going out in public if they show flu-like symptoms.


Taylor-Leplante also says that in the event of a flu pandemic, patients would not likely be able to be shipped south to Prince Albert like usual.


Rather, the band would be forced to deal with the matter itself — something she and others are hoping to get a headstart on through weekly meetings.