In response to possible pandemic of the Avian Flu virus which could could cross North American borders by spring, Mayor L. Douglas Wilder has charged the City’s Office of Emergency Management and the City’s Public Health Department with prepareding measures to adequately address the possibility of citywide outbreak. Currently there is no vaccine for the airborne virus.
“We must make every effort to prepare for an eventual outbreak of the Avian Flu here,” said the mayor in a press release. “By having these measures firmly in place, we are doing all that we possibly can to safeguard our community from this growing health risk.”
The City is immediately prepared to address a minor outbreak of the Avian Flu, preparedness measures are already in place for a broader situation. Within 48-hours of a citywide outbreak, the State’s Public Health Department would receive sufficient medication available in the City to treat 300,000 to a million people from the Strategic National Stockpile.
In the event of an actual outbreak, the responsibilities of various governmental and other entities are shown below:
City’s Public Health Department and area Hospitals – Provide medications and medical information to the public. City’s Office of Emergency Management – Request and coordinate resources to support City of Richmond agencies.
Mayor’s Office – Provide executive orders and make major policy decisions.
Law Enforcement – Provide security for critical facilities, dispensing sites and resources.
American Red Cross – Provide food and water to the public.
EMS – Provide medical treatment and transport for patients. City’s Fire Department - Provide medical treatment for patients. Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratories Services – Perform laboratory analyses to identify the virus. Public Schools – Serves as vaccination and treatment locations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Will send supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to the Richmond area.