By Wally Kennedy
Participants at the Pandemic Planning Conference on Thursday at Missouri Southern State University learned that they are pretty much on their own when it comes to planning for the next killer flu.
The keynote speaker, Gregory Evans, director of the Institute for Biosecurity at Saint Louis University, said: “The federal government should be doing more research to answer many of the questions that you have when planning for the next pandemic.
“Since that is not happening, you really need to do as much at the local level as possible to get ready. We have to depend on ourselves and not expect the feds to be there for us.”
The federal government has known about H5N1, the virus that causes bird flu and the most likely culprit for the next pandemic, since 2003, Evans said. But, the government is suffering from what he described as “preparedness paralysis.”
In addition, he said, the public has become complacent because the H5N1 virus has not grabbed headlines of late.
“This is a very bad virus and one we need to worry about,” Evans said. “H5N1 continues to spread, and eventually it will get to the United States. The more it spreads, the more opportunity it has to mutate (into a virus that spreads from human to human).”
He said experts think the mutation that will allow the virus to spread from human to human is likely to occur in Asia, but he noted that no one knows where that mutation might occur. He pointed to historical evidence indicating that the Spanish flu of 1918-19 that killed 500,000 people in the United States started in Kansas and was spread to Europe by soldiers in World War I.
“Nearly half of those killed were healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 44. H5N1 attacks the young, too,” he said. “Since 2003, there have been 278 human cases of H5N1 and 168 deaths. That’s a death rate of over 50 percent.”
By Wally Kennedy
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
No injuries reported in garage fire
The Joplin city fire marshal is investigating a fire that erupted early today in the garage of a home at 3316 S. Delaware Ave.
Nixon visits Joplin to sign breast density bill
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation at Freeman Hospital on Tuesday that will require radiologists in Missouri to provide information about breast density on post-mammogram reports.
Defendant draws 10 years for assault of ex-girlfriend
A Jasper County judge today sentenced a rural Joplin man to 10 years in prison for an assault on an ex-girlfriend with a walking stick that left one of her eyes detached from its socket.
Rural Joplin child dies from gunshot wound to head
A 3-year-old girl died Monday at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Freeman Health Systems after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The incident occurred at the child's home in rural Joplin, said Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Suspect in coach's slaying posts bond
Jeffrey Bruner posted bond shortly before noon today and was released from the Jasper County Jail in Carthage.
Downtown group warns about Third Thursday mail scam
Officials with the Downtown Joplin Alliance on Friday announced that a mail scam involving Third Thursday has been discovered.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81