"It is very possible that PATERNAL AGE is the major predictor of(non-familial) autism." Harry Fisch, M.D., author "The Male Biological Clock". Sperm DNA mutates and autism, schizophrenia bipolar etc. results. What is the connection with autoimmune disorders? Having Type 1 diabetes, SLE,etc. in the family, also if mother had older father. NW Cryobank will not accept a sperm donor past 35th BD to minimize genetic abnormalities.VACCINATIONS also cause autism.

Monday, October 12, 2009

St. Joseph County has plan in place for flu pandemic

St. Joseph County has plan in place for flu pandemic
By Troy Kehoe (

Story Updated: Oct 12, 2009 at 10:40 PM EDT

SOUTH BEND — Local leaders have a plan in place to contain a potential pandemic outbreak of the H1N1 virus. It was developed three years ago in the wake of fears about the worldwide spread of "avian flu." Now, local health officials are using the same blueprint to stay prepared for H1N1 flu.

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The plan is nearly 50 pages long, as was developed by St. Joseph County's "Pandemic Influenza Task Force," comprised of representatives from the following agencies:

•Indiana State Department of Health, Public Health Emergency
Preparedness and Response Division
• Indiana State Department of Health District 2 Public Health Team
• St. Joseph County Health Department Administration
• St. Joseph County Health Department, Epidemiology and Emergency
Preparedness Division
• Memorial Hospital of South Bend
• St. Joseph Regional Medical Center South Bend Campus
• St. Joseph County Emergency Management Agency

Representatives from South Bend and Mishawaka and several local school corporations were also consulted during development of the plan. Inside it, are detailed instructions on how the county plans to help prevent spread of a potential pandemic like the novel H1N1, and how to contain outbreaks if they do occur.

The South Bend Common Council's Health and Public Safety and Community Relations Committees met with representatives from the South Bend Community School Corporation Monday for an update on the virus in the city that included talking over portions of the plan.

Mayor Steve Luecke said city administrators are already working on a new plan of their own.

"We plan to issue directives to each of our departments about protocols to remind people about what everyone should be doing, what to look out for in terms of H1N1. We'll be providing some additional hand sanitizer in the departments as well, particularly those that have a lot of contact with the public," Luecke said.

So far, the city's role in only in the "preventative" portion of the plan. But that could change, Luecke said, if the outbreak gets worse.

"Our public safety officials would begin to play a significant role should this really blossom into a pandemic," said Luecke.

If it does, the city will have another role, added Health and Public Safety Committee Chair Karen White.

"Our role is to give information out throughout the community, but also to make sure that individuals that need to have the vaccine receive the vaccine," she said.

That, however, is at least three weeks away.

St. Joseph County's first 2,600 doses of the H1N1 vaccine were given out last week to first responders like doctors, nurses, paramedics and EMTs. It's unlikely, White said, that large scale doses of the vaccine will be available until late October or early November.

Once those doses are available, South Bend Schools plan to set up "rapid" H1N1 flu shot clinics in all local schools, said South Bend Schools Director of Student Services Rosalind Ellis.

Corporation administrators met with school building administrators and the corporation's 24 school nurses on September 15th to formulate a specific school response to the H1N1 virus Ellis said. Letters have also been sent home to all parents asking them to keep their children home if they are ill.

In addition, each school now has a designated "sick bay" area where students exhibiting symptoms of the flu are treated. School officials hope this will help keep the virus from spreading to other students who are visiting the school nurse for treatment of other illness of injury.

Still, Ellis, who is a member of the county's Pandemic Flu Working Group, says key signs of a full scale pandemic aren't showing up yet. School absences, for example, are higher than normal, but haven't hit the pandemic plan's mark of 20 percent.

"That's the number that would raise a red flag. We have not reached that. We've come near it, but haven't reached it," Ellis said.

On Monday, school absences in South Bend hovered around 10 percent, down from a high of about 15 percent late last week. Several schools in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation also reported absences of 14 percent to 15 percent Monday, including Penn High School.

Until absences hit the 20 percent mark, it's unlikely that the school corporation's own pandemic plan will be put into motion either, Ellis said.

"We wouldn't move toward it unless we had a response or a request from the St. Joe County Health Department to do that," she said.

Ellis also worked to quell rumors that schools would begin to close if flu cases continue.

"The CDC has found that closing schools does not stop the spread of H1N1," she told the joint committee. "Because, people don't go home and stay contained. They go out to everywhere else like the mall or the movies, and the virus continues to spread."

St. Joseph County offices were closed for the Columbus Day holiday Monday, and WSBT's calls to Health Department administrators were not returned. But, Health Department Director of Nursing Barbara Baker told WSBT in August that the remaining "containment" levels of the pandemic plan are ready to be implemented if necessary.

"The real key will be relying on partnerships with hospitals, clinics and primary care physicians to make sure things run smoothly, and especially that doses of the vaccine are distributed once they become available," Baker told WSBT.

The hope now is that there won't be a reason to flip to the "mass treatment" section of the plan.

Still, Ellis says it's there for one simple reason.

"We're right at the very beginning of the flu season. We will be working through this and dealing with this through the end of February," she said.

That's why Ellis and others continues to preach "prevention."

South Bend Schools are stressing a new plan called the "3 C's":

-Clean hands
-Covered Cough
-Contained illness or staying home when sick

"If children are healthy, it's important that schools are open so they can come to school. If they're not feeling well, they should stay home," Ellis said.

"If there is a full pandemic, where they're having to inoculate huge numbers of people or have schools closed, our facilities will be ready," she continued. "But, we're not at that point right now."

Click here to read St. Joseph County's Pandemic Influenza Incident Plan.



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