When an outbreak of a disease reaches the point where it is actively spreading in a community, individual community members need to take actions too. By taking these actions, community members can help reduce the chances of getting sick and reduce demands on the health care sector so the most seriously ill people get the supportive care they need.
The most likely public health emergency that we may experience is pandemic influenza, where a new deadly influenza virus spreads rapidly around the world and no one has immunity to it. COVID-19 is also considered a public health emergency that we are currently monitoring and responding to.
Scientists are carefully monitoring changes in the bird flu virus for person to person contact, which may trigger a serious and rapid spread of disease. Other events could be purposeful release of infectious disease organisms that would infect persons living here or traveling elsewhere and returning "home" to our area.
All community services and emergency responders are working together in our country and with state and regional agencies to plan and exercise an organized response to outbreaks of disease or other public health emergencies.
Local preparations, public health, emergency management, law enforcement, cities, hospitals and clinics, schools, and other community services are working together to assure an organized response to outbreaks of disease or other emergencies.
If you would like to volunteer in case of a catastrophic event, please join our list of volunteers, at Minnesota Responds online registration; www.mnresponds.org/agreement,php. Or if you would like more information, please contact our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at 507-375-7863