Getting Beyond Getting Ready for Pandemic Influenza
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MAJORITY STAFF OF THE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
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Pandemic influenza is not a new phenomenon. Historically, there have been other influenza pandemics, enough so that we now believe the planet is well overdue. We watch avian influenza move across the world, worry about how more than 60 of those people that contract the disease die from it, and realize that further mutations in currently circulating strains could cause them to easily infect human beings. Work is clearly underway to prepare for such a biological event. However, despite the fact that we are overdue for an influenza pandemic and that we fear the consequences of such a disease spreading unchecked - we are not prepared as a Nation to fully withstand the impact of such a devastating widespread biological event. Recognizing the devastating impact an influenza pandemic would have on our Homeland and National Security, and the need to be ready to handle the pandemic when it occurs, Chairman Thompson and Subcommittee Chairman Langevin directed the Majority Staff to Conduct oversight regarding the pandemic influenza preparedness activities of DHS and other members of the Executive Branch Gather information through hearings, briefings, and meetings to determine the status of National efforts to prepare for pandemic influenza Identify weaknesses in our National preparedness for pandemic influenza and Determine what specific actions could strengthen such efforts and help the Nation achieve readiness for pandemic influenza.
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