Officials weigh options in event of flu pandemic

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PARIS – Hospitals are full. So are medical care centers.

If a pandemic of influenza breaks out, the county will have a problem, said Scott Parker, Oxford County Emergency Management Agency director. Or any kind of pandemic, for that matter.

Parker met with 22 area medical care officials Tuesday to discuss preparations if such an outbreak were to occur.

The idea is to inform people how to care for themselves so they won’t need to go to the hospital.

Tuesday’s discussion centered around setting up five shelters in the county if a pandemic were to erupt.

“We talked a lot about what our capabilities were,” Parker said.

The biggest problem is in the most rural areas, Parker said.

Dianna Milot, practice manager for the Bethel Family Health Center, was at Tueday’s workshop and said she has attended several others.

“It’s a work in progress,” Milot said. “We’re just getting the conversation going.”

Ultimately, Parker said, “we want people to stay as healthy as they can.” This may include social distancing from others while sick.

Parker said his agency hopes to put a plan together, in case of an emergency, so the agency can easily broadcast information over TV and radio.

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