Update on Amateur Radio and Flu

The following is from Eastern Massachusetts ARRL Section Manager, Mike Neilsen-W1MPN and MEMA Public Information officer Peter Judge. More information will be posted late this weekend or early next week.


Just some thoughts about what is going on.  It is still early in the
public health investigation of this outbreak, and our government
officials seem to be working hard to gather as much information as
possible about the situation nationally and here in our state.  Some of
the cases in Mexico have been very serious, but the confirmed cases
from California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York City have been
reported to be mild.  We don’t know yet why the cases in Mexico and the
U.S. seem to be different in severity, but answering that question will
be part of the larger public health investigation.  There is still much
to be learned from the little evidence that the world authorities have
accumulated.  The CDC has now confirmed 64 cases of swine flu in humans
in the U.S.  There have been no cases identified yet in Massachusetts,
however, like other states we are increasing our surveillance
activities to see if cases develop in the Commonwealth.  

In the coming days, patience will be the best approach to this problem.
Hams can demonstrate calm by controlling rumors and encouraging people
to stay plugged into authoritative sources. I have found information on
the media to be relevant and balanced.  Good updates are also available
on the mass.gov site, and for more information on swine flu, visit the
CDC’s new web site at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.  There is also have some
very good information on how to care for someone at home who has the
flu on the DPH web site.  MDPH and MEMA will be utilizing Mass211 as a
information center.  The goal was to have Mass211 operational by today.

Consider that if the worst scenario should materialize, widespread flu
will greatly impact already thin workforces causing supply disruptions
and real service problems, even with light casualties.  I strongly
recommend that you quietly but persistently ensure your readiness for
challenges ahead by procuring at least two weeks worth of canned food,
clean water, and other supplies for your home.  Please encourage your
relatives, friends, and neighbors to do the same.

Our ARES Team is standing by to assist in any way we can in the weeks
ahead.  ASM, Carl, N1FYM, is actively reviewing the news to see, what
if anything, is specifically pertinent to us.  Whatever we find out
will be promptly added to our website at ema.arrl.org, so please check
it often.

Best regards to you and your family.


de W1MPN

Office Answering Service/FAX 978-389-0558

The Mass211 Information Line (2-1-1) and the MA Department of Public Health website (www.mass.gov/dph) are prepared to provide assistance regarding any questions concerning the Swine Flu Outbreak.

Peter W. Judge

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

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