October 26, 2005
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has posted to its Web site a draft plan for how Texas would respond to pandemic influenza and is inviting the public to offer comments about it.
A link to the draft plan and related documents is online at www.dshs.state.tx.us.
The draft plan provides guidance to local health departments, covers plans for the allocation and distribution of vaccines and antiviral medicines, updates plans for mass vaccination clinics and includes response information for medical professionals and community leaders.
Also included is information for the public about how to protect themselves and take care of the ill at home.
DSHS officials said the plan was produced to prepare for the possibility of a worldwide epidemic of influenza that would include Texas and is intended to be compatible with similar plans produced by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The goals of the plan are to minimize serious illness, hospitalizations and death; preserve infrastructure; and minimize social disruption should there ever be an influenza pandemic.
DSHS officials said comments from the public will be considered before the final version is produced in early 2006.
Nov. 23 is the deadline for public comments.
(News Media: for more information contact Emily Palmer, Assistant DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)