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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

January 6, 2006

Bird Flue Messages

The West Coast District Health Board is currently working on its plan including its communications plan regarding a possible bird-flu pandemic.

Chief Executive Kevin Hague said the Government was currently undertaking a national advertising campaign around pandemic preparedness and this would continue through February and March.

Mr Hague said the DHB would be undertaking community awareness raising activities regarding pandemic preparedness this year but wanted to make sure any messages it made public were complimentary to what other agencies including the Ministry of Health were producing.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation, but at this stage we urge the public not to panic."

Mr Hague said work on the preparedness plan is evolving on an almost weekly basis as more information becomes available.

"We are also looking to establish a multi-disciplinary team to work on further development of our plan.

"That team will be made of people from the DHB and from other organisations such as the Medical Officer of Health."

Mr Hague said the messages regarding preventing the spread of bird-flu should it occur were basic everyday hygiene messages.

Wash and dry your hands thoroughly with soap, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put it in lined bin with a lid, have a basic emergency supplies kit in case you have to stay home sick or look after someone else who is sick.

The DHB was also urging people to ensure they have an influenza vaccination this year.

"While there has been a lot of publicity around bird-flu, influenza can in fact be a serious problem for many people in the community each winter."

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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