A state senator has warned that Nevada isn't
prepared to handle an outbreak of avian flu and many people could
die because of a lack of protective masks.
During a meeting of the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee,
Senator Bob Coffin asked Dr. Dale Carrison, chairman of the state
Homeland Security Commission, if he feared a possible flu outbreak.
Carrison says he's more concerned about the typical strains of
the flu than the "bird flu" outbreak that started in Asia. The
avian flu prompted President Bush to seek unprecedented amounts of
Carrison says one step that could be taken is to have hospital
patients who are waiting for treatment wear surgical-type masks.
Coffin says respiratory masks are the first line of defense for
most people - but Nevada has fewer than 25-thousand masks of
sufficient quality to block the flu virus.