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Governor Schwarzenegger Prepares For H1N1 Flu Outbreak

Governor Schwarzenegger was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

Now we are all still enjoying a beautiful California summer, the kind our state is so famous for.

With all this non-stop sunshine, the last thing we want to think about is the coming flu season but I am asking you to do exactly that.

See we expect the approaching fall flu season to be different and possibly unpredictable.

The H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu, has the potential to sicken as many as one in four Californians. That’s over 9 million people. Think about it.

I mean, when we first saw it in the spring, California responded quickly and aggressively.

We had been preparing for a flu crisis for a very long time, and we had all the essential building blocks in place to protect the public.

We had prepared by investing $172 million to improve our readiness for a flu pandemic, or a similar crisis.

We were the first state to identify the H1N1 and we were one of the first states to do the testing in our own lab to confirm the H1N1 cases.

I am very proud of our state’s response and the public’s sense of safety and security.

This summer we haven’t thought much about the H1N1 and many Californians now view the virus as no worse than a typical flu.

I want you to know it isn’t. The H1N1 is unpredictable. Through the summer, we have seen an average of one to two Californians die each day from it.

And about 25 percent of those who die had no pre-existing health conditions. Think about that.

History tells us that flus such as this can spread quickly or mutate. They can overload our health care system and impact every sector of society.

And that is why the state has been working around the clock to prepare for the coming flu season.

But this isn’t all about government. It is also about you. Each of us has to take some action. Action. Action. Action. And the time to do that is now.

Keep yourself healthy. Don’t infect others and take precautions by washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you are sick.

Parents need to plan for the kids to be home from school and businesses need to be prepared that employees will not be in the office.

Information is an essential tool, by the way. You see, we have worked hard to update our Web site with complete information, and of course you can also use Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to keep up with the latest developments and prevention tips.

Dr. Mark Horton, the director of the California Department of Public Health, a very knowledgeable fellow, tweets daily on important health topics including the H1N1.

You can find more information at www.cdph.ca.gov.

So thank you for doing your part to limit the spread of the H1N1 virus.

California has the best emergency operation in the world, I guarantee you that, and we are determined to make preparation the difference between emergency and crisis.

Thank you for watching and thank you for listening.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:46, 7:46 and 8:46am.

Written by mark@mlode.com