Vancouver 2010 - Preparing for H1N1

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on November 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:45 AM

VANCOUVER, B.C. - One of British Columbia's top doctors is emphatic, saying "The Games will not be interrupted by H1N1 in Vancouver."

Dr. Patricia Daly is the Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, and sits in an office overlooking some of the Olympic venues, and Olympic village.  She is also leading the health preparations for the 2010 Winter Games.  She believes a handful of measures will prevent the spread of the swine flu before and during the event.

The plan right now calls for every Olympic employee and volunteer to get vaccinated.  So far, although shipments have been slower than expected, VCH believes it will have enough to vaccinate 70 percent of the population.  In the last week and a half, 800,000 doses have been administered.

That's may due to the heightened awareness in British Columbia.  In just the last week, 162 people have become severely ill from the virus, and three have died.  A Vancouver School was also closed as a precaution last month.

That news comes as Vancouver counts down.  Today marked 100 days until the start of the games.

The Olympic Athletes' Village on False Creek was officially handed over by developers to the Vancouver Olympic Committee today.  Almost 3,000 athletes will be housed in more than 1,000 units during the course of the games.  Nejat Sarp, who will lead day to day operations at the village acknowledges, "you've got be very diligent" with the athletes and employees.  "(We'll encourage employees) let's not be overly zealous in trying to come to work."  Sarp says his crew will pay close attention to trends, and house athletes in the on-site polyclinic if need be.

Daly says plans are also in place to staff up emergency rooms during the games, and suspend elective procedures, to allow for a major response to a pandemic flu emergency.

 

 

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