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In response to reports about the swine flu in California, Councilwoman Jan Perry introduced a motion today to request an update from key agencies on preparedness efforts throughout the Los Angeles region. The motion requests the Los Angeles Health Department, the City Emergency Management Department, and the Fire Department to make a presentation at the May 5th meeting of the Los Angeles City Council relative to the swine flu and what measures can be taken to address the potential spread of the illness in Los Angeles.
"While there is no cause for alarm, it is important that we prepare ourselves immediately and assess our readiness as a City and region to deal with the potential spread of this illness locally," said Councilwoman Perry. "We must take this issue seriously, ask ourselves and our emergency preparedness departments what tools they have on hand, and how we must prepare ourselves for the potential impacts."
Last Monday, Los Angeles County officials declared the swine flu an outbreak "beyond containment" and it has been reported that local hospitals, clinics, and schools, are gearing up for the potential outbreak in the region. The number of U.S. cases has doubled to 40 with incidences in New York, Ohio, Texas, and California.
Additionally, The World Health Organization has raised its global alert level above Phase 3 and has declared that "at this time, containment is not a feasible option." Moving the alert up to Phases 4 or 5 signals that the virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans; this means that government could set trade, travel, and other restrictions in an effort to limit the disease effect. These efforts could have potential far reaching affects on the economic and public health of the City of Los Angeles.
The swine flu has rapidly risen to epidemic levels and has spread from Mexico to other parts of the world, including the United StatesÂ