Avian flu meeting set in Berlin

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services will hold an avian influenza town hall meeting Wednesday, February 1 at Berlin City Hall.

“We know the impact of pandemic influenza would be devastating to both public health and our economy,” said HHS Commissioner John Stephen. “A report by the Congressional Budget Office showed that a pandemic outbreak in the United States could send the country into a recession and result in numerous illnesses and deaths. We need to make sure that we are as prepared as possible. These town hall meetings give us an opportunity to get information out to the communities of the state about avian flu and how people can prepare themselves.”

Although the deadly Influenza A H5N1 strain has resulted in the destruction of millions of poultry flocks and some 80 human deaths in Asia and parts of Eastern Europe, it has not shown to be transmitted from person to person.

The town hall meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., includes an update on avian flu and state preparations from Stephen, Division of Public Health Services Director Mary Ann Cooney and state epidemiologist Dr. José Montero as well as an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

For more information, visit the department’s Web site, dhhs.nh.gov. — CINDY KIBBE

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