Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County health official: Bird flu would be like 50 hurricanes

Thursday, October 05, 2006
Pioneer Press
by CASEY MOFFITT Staff Writer

First responders, business leaders and health-care workers converged at the Cook County Circuit Court in Rolling Meadows to learn more about how the Cook County Department of Public Health is preparing for a bird flu pandemic and the challenges that go along with it.
The Health Department scheduled four different meetings on the topic. The Sept. 26 meeting in Rolling Meadows invited people from the northern parts of the county.
"Imagine 50 (Hurricane) Katrinas across the county," said Dr. Stephen Martin, chief operating officer of the Health Department, in describing the potential magnitude of a pandemic flu. "There is nothing the federal government can do to respond."
That is why it is so important for the county's Health Department officials to reach out to local first responders and business leaders, Martin said.
"The effort by first responders has been tremendous," he said. "But we're still struggling to get policies together. We need input to shape the policies we're putting together."
Partners needed
Although Martin said he is convinced the initial response to a pandemic flu will be "fabulous," he said the challenge will be sustaining that response until things return to normal.
"Public health cannot do this alone," he said. "We need partners."
Everyone from local police departments, highway departments, hospitals and businesses will have to work together to reduce the spread of the disease and limit the loss of life, Martin said. Businesses will have to play a large role and find out ways they can continue business while allowing sick workers to stay at home.
Businesses should also stress general hygiene, Martin said, including washing hands, cough etiquette and maintaining distances from co-workers to limit the spread of the disease.
"All of these things work," he said. "Put it in your newsletters."
'Worried well'
Police officers and public works employees might be needed for crown control, Martin said, as hospitals are worried of being overrun with patients or their family members.
"It's not the truly ill we have to worry about," he said, "but the worried well."
However, the sick could also have to get used to new procedures at the hospital.
Hospital staff shortage
Mary Casey-Lockyer, emergency response coordinator for Northwest Community Hospital, said hospitals will struggle with manpower and might have to establish a triage system to help the sick.
"We may have one nurse for every 20 people," she said. "We don't want to do it. We don't like it, but we may have to do it."
Another concern hospitals face is a lack of ventilators. Since the disease affects the respiratory system, many ventilators will be needed in the case of a pandemic flu. Hospitals will also have to stockpile additional beds, medications and equipment.
"We have just in time supply chains and just in time staffing," Casey-Lockyer said. "These are all the issues health care is dealing with."
So far there is no sign the bird flu has made its way to the Unites States, and the virus has yet to mutate to spread from person to person.
However, it is believed previous pandemic flu virus strains originated in birds, said Dr. Catherine Counard, the Health Department's assistant medical director for communicable disease control, and this strain has been particularly deadly.
"We have never discovered a disease killing wildlife species across the world like this," she said.
Counard also noted 50 percent of people who have contracted the virus have died. She compared that with the 1918 pandemic flu, in which a third of the population was infected, but only 2.5 percent of those infected died.
"We have never seen this kind of lethality in a flu virus before," she said. "This strain is very infective and highly lethal."
Relaying information
Because of the strain on resources a pandemic flu could impose, Martin said local authorities will be needed to relay information to the public.
"We need relationships locally of people the public trusts," he said. "This is not a response on top of a response."
Martin also said it is critical for local authorities to share their experience with the Health Department, so they can be relayed to the 125 communities in Cook County.


Recent Headlines

Cook County Health Needs A New CEO. Could Politics Get In The Way?
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
WBEZ News

Search for new Cook County Health CEO expected to take about 6 months
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Deadline for Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Kaegi: 'The embrace of a failed status quo makes no sense'
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
WGN Radio

Cook County Assessor Staying Below The Radar
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
WBBM Radio

Census hiring event Wednesday in Schaumburg
Monday, January 20, 2020
Daily Herald

Proposed health oversight shift not a ‘power grab,’ Cook County officials say
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Cashes In On Legal Weed
Thursday, January 16, 2020
WBEZ News

Cook County OKs 3% marijuana tax
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Preckwinkle looks to claw back some oversight of Cook County Health
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Pace Announces Public Hearings on Proposed North Shore Service Changes
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Pot taxes in Chicago could be as high as 41% by July as county moves forward with 3% levy
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Wants Sweeping New Authority Over Cook County Health
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
WBEZ News

Preckwinkle urges businesses to help fight 'cost of segregation'
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Daily Herald

County Finance Committee set to approve $165K settlement in ‘political discrimination’ case
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

More Weed Taxes? New Hospital? What To Watch For At Cook County Board
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
WBEZ News

Seniors now able to apply for multi-year homeowners property tax break this year
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Owes $79 Million In Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds; Do You Have Money Coming?
Monday, January 13, 2020
CBS Chicago

Lincolnwood OKs sick days for workers but rejects minimum wage
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP