Fox-11 Forum, 11/1/09, 7:30 AM

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Dr. Joshua Gaither, an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center.  He was a pilot course instructor in the CitizenReady program here.  Dr. Kathy Hiller is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and is the Assistant Director, Undergraduate Medical Education, Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center. Dr. Hiller was a participant in the CitizenReady course.

Hiller says most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications.
She says almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far locally are 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses.  She saiys vaccination is the best protection against contracting the flu. 

Gaither says the “CitizenReady H1N1 program” is launching this month. He said the program was test-piloted by the Center through October by the American Medical Association, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Disaster Life Support Foundation. The purpose of the program, he says, is to engage citizens and businesses on actions they can take to help prevent the spread of H1N1. He says the program explains the role of the public health system in an influenza pandemic, describes actions the community can take to prepare for an influenza pandemic, and describes actions citizens can be take to prepared for an influenza pandemic. 

Hiller says a “pandemic” is simply a reference to an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region, such as Pima County.  She says it doesn’t mean everyone in the County is sick, it just means the disease is not “isolated” to one small area of the County.