We have learned that the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday raised their pandemic alert to Phase 5. Phase 5 is defined as "larger cluster(s) but human-to-human spread is still localized, suggesting that the virus is becoming increasingly better adapted to humans, but may not yet be fully transmissible." Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for California. His proclamation followed the declaration of a public health emergency on Sunday. It is important to remember that so far it appears that all cases in California have been mild, and that the governor's declaration will allow the state to quickly acquire supplies and materials should the need arise.
Ames does have a pandemic plan and it is currently being reviewed and updated. To assist with evaluating and updating our plan, an integrated planning team has been formed. This team consists of members from the Protective Services Office, Safety, Health & Mission Assurance Directorate, Human Capital Directorate and our Legal Office. It is our sincere hope that our pandemic plan never needs to be activated.
Because reports of swine flu continue to increase in our area and beyond, it is prudent and necessary that we take precautions as individuals and as employees at Ames. There are several web sites available with information on how to protect you, your family and your co-workers during this Swine Flu outbreak. Three web sites we recommend are pandemicflu.gov, http://www.pandemicflu.gov, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, http://www.sccphd.org and the
Pandemic Influenza Preparation and Response: A Citizenís Guide
The health and welfare of our entire Ames community is a shared responsibility. Please practice healthy habits, do not come to work if you have or suspect you have flu symptoms, and visit the Health Unit or your personal physician for prompt medical attention.
S. Pete Worden