Pandemic Flu Concerns Prompt One-of-a-Kind Handbook

A new program funded by the state will give Brazos Valley residents a chance to brush up on a deadly potential problem.

Next week, these booklets on the pandemic flu will be sent to 137,000 homes in seven local counties.

While the mutation of the season flu bug into a deadly epidemic is hard to predict, health officials say millions worldwide could die as a result, crippling businesses and schools.

According to the health department, the last pandemic came in 1968 and 1969, when 700,000 people died, including 34,000 Americans. The pandemic outbreak of 1918 and 1919, more than 50 million people worldwide died.

A nearly $200,000 grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Region 7 was used to buy and send out the books.

For the better part of this decade, the Brazos Valley Council of Governments has made pandemic flu awareness a priority. They collaborated with the Brazos County Health Department to put together the booklet.

Once a resident receives the handbook, the health department is asking readers to provide feedback at the department's website, which is linked below this story.

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