Pandemic flu policy in place

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The AVMA has adopted a policy concerning pandemic influenza readiness.

The policy proposed by the Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues and approved by the Executive Board reads as follows:

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

The AVMA encourages its members to have pandemic influenza preparedness plans in place for themselves, their families and their businesses.

The Health and Human Services Department has stated that "pandemic influenza is an explosive global event in which most, if not all, populations worldwide are at risk for infection and illness," states the recommendation background.

Pandemic influenza viruses pose unmatched disease control challenges, given their rapid spread across the globe in addition to their ability to lead to infection in all age groups, the background continued. Another challenge is the possible susceptibility of a variety of animal species to various influenza strains. Veterinarians in private or public practice could, therefore, be called on to provide subject matter expertise on these issues.