FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Adam Liegeot, 860 301-4055
October 13, 2008 Adam.Liegeot@ct.gov
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has been awarded $370,000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a network to aid those with special needs in the event of an influenza pandemic.
“This award will help us to continue to strengthen our state’s regional response to those with special needs in the event of an influenza pandemic,” Governor Rell said. “People with special needs are one of our major focuses of concern when planning for an emergency or a public health event. This additional funding will allow us to build networks and provide necessary training to reach out to our most vulnerable populations.”
Connecticut was one of 29 states and local health departments awarded additional funding by the CDC through a competitive grant process.
Through the grant, the state plans to develop an inclusive database with the integration of service providers, strengthen the state's regional response capacity, and develop a replicable model for a uniform statewide outreach network for service providers working with vulnerable populations with special needs.
In July, DPH submitted a statewide pandemic influenza operational plan to the CDC for review. The operational plan consisted of various preparedness plans for key state agencies and was recently approved by the CDC, assuring that preparedness funding for Connecticut would not be penalized due to the submission of an incomplete or inadequate pandemic influenza operational plan.
Pandemic influenza is a worldwide outbreak of a strain of flu virus that people have not been previously exposed to, resulting in little or no immunity. In a pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States could become very ill, and many could die. Federal, state, and local officials have been working to prepare for a pandemic and urge individuals to prepare as well.
For more information on pandemic influenza, please call the Connecticut Department of Public Health at (860) 509-7270 or visit the CT Flu Watch website at www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch.