North Carolinians Should Prepare for Flu Pandemic

Wilmington, NC – U-S Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says North Carolina will receive $2.5 million in federal funds to boost plans for pandemic flu preparedness.

Leavitt made the announcement at the state's first pandemic flu summit today in Raleigh. He says preparation on a state and local level is key to surviving a pandemic that could last up to a year.

Any part of a community that fails to prepare with the expectation that as governor says that the federal government will come riding in and rescue them, will be sadly mistaken. Not because we lack will, not because we lack wallet, but because we simply have no way to respond to 5,000 different communities at the same moment.

North Carolina has one of the first monitoring systems in the country that updates hospital databases every 15 minutes, helping public health experts identify and investigate outbreaks.