Print options

October 28, 2009

Expert: US Bird Flu Plan Relies Heavily on Local Governments

A U.S. health expert says the burden of responding to a possible bird flu pandemic reaching the United States will largely fall on local governments.

Michael Osterholm says the U.S. military will not be able to respond quickly if a pandemic spreads to all 50 U.S. states, leaving the effort up to state and city officials.

A plan drafted by the Bush administration to help the country deal with a possible bird flu outbreak says nearly two million people could die, in a worst-case scenario. The plan says hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients, which could number more than eight million.

Some information for this report provided by AP.