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By Judith Welles

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Blog on pandemic flu

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is using social media – a blog – to help prepare for a potential flu pandemic.

The Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog will continue for five weeks through June 27 and comments are welcome and encouraged from all who visit the blog.

Acknowledging that it may not be possible to predict when the next flu pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, Secretary Michael Leavitt said it is essential to prepare ahead of time and "that time is now."

Through the blog, identified leaders will participate with anyone interested in a conversation about the potential impact of a pandemic on individuals, families, communities and workplaces.

Among the leadership bloggers are Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay and co-founder of Omidyar Network; David Eisner, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service; and Greg Dworkin, founding editor of Flu Wiki and chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn.

In addition to the blog, HHS will also hold a Pandemic Influenza Leadership Forum on June 13 in Washington, D.C. with representatives of the business, faith, civic and health care communities.

Past influenza pandemics, like the one that occurred in 1918, caused extensive illness and deaths and disrupted schools and work. HHS has set up a Web site on pandemic flu full of information.

Posted by Judith Welles on May 29, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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