don't panic but be cautious
advice for avoiding the flu - or dealing with it
New York, April 28, 2009 --
As deaths attributed to the swine flu outbreak in Mexico passed 150, the
message of the World Health Organization straddled a cautious line between
reassurance and warning.
True, there is a potential
that the contagious disease could become a pandemic, WHO statements said,
but no scientist can predict what will happen next. The nature of influenza
viruses is that they are unpredictable.
In the U.S., the secretary
of Homeland Security and the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said they expected additional reports of swine flu around the
country but offered assurances that the government was prepared to respond.
That leaves most Americans
in the uncomfortable position of hoping for the best but wondering how to
prepare for the worst.
Some helpful links:
Council of Churches
Health Task Force
Church World Service Hotline
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Pandemic Preparation
Pandemic Planning for
HHS: Faith Based Organizations
and Pandemic Preparedness
Swine Flu Influenza
World Health Organization
Swine Flu Influenza
Protection Agency Update
Protection Surveillance Center
CDC - Preventing the Flu
member communions of the National Council of Churches are naturally
concerned," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary.
"I think we all agree that this is a time for caution, not panic. This
is a good time for individuals to learn as much as they can about how to
protect themselves from a contagious illness, and how to protect their
families and communities."
Churches, government agencies
and health professionals are
issuing numerous advisories about the swine flu outbreak.
"It may be a bit daunting
to sort through all the statements that are being made," Kinnamon said.
"We've gathered together some links we hope will be helpful." (See box
"In the meantime, it's
always appropriate to pray for God's healing, for God's protection, and
for the wisdom to take the most effective steps to protect our families
NCC News contact:
Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,