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Media invited to attend background briefing on novel H1N1 flu


Thu, Aug 6th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

Event:

Background briefing on novel H1N1, including recent developments, current concerns, anticipated issues and challenges if a second wave of illness occurs in the fall, and preparations for the possibility of a major pandemic involving severe illness.



Time/Location:

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10:00 a.m. to noon; Red River Room, MDH/Snelling Office Park, St. Paul. We plan to provide an opportunity to participate for people unable to attend in person, via teleconference or webinar. Details to be announced.

Directions to Snelling Office Park are available at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/about/sop.html#location



Presenters:

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota State Epidemiologist; Kris Ehresmann, Director, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division, MDH; MDH Assistant Commissioner John Linc Stine; Cathy Hockert, Director, Continuity of Government Planning, Minnesota Management and Budget; Kevin Leuer, Director, Preparedness Branch, Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Randy Wanke, Communications Director, Minnesota Department of Education.



Background:

While public awareness of novel H1N1 influenza has waned over the last few weeks, the public health community remains on "high alert" in anticipation of a possible resurgence of H1N1 illness in the fall. Questions to be addressed in this briefing include (but will not be limited to):

Will H1N1 simply fade away in the fall? Stay around, but continue to cause relatively mild illness? Or change course, and begin causing more severe illness?

What will it mean to have H1N1 still in wide circulation as this year's seasonal flu strains begin to make an appearance?

Will we have a vaccine available for novel H1N1? Will there be enough? Who will get the vaccine if supplies are limited?

Immunization against H1N1 could require two doses of vaccine. How will we handle the task of immunizing people against both H1N1 and regular "seasonal" flu?

If H1N1 returns in the fall and begins causing widespread, severe illness, what strategies are available to contain the spread of the virus?

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