2006_7_health_sneeze.jpgNothing quite says it's summer in the city like the Mayor introducing a new plan to battle a resistant strain of the flu that doesn't exist. Yesterday, Hizzoner introduced a plan to contain the possible pandemic that a gateway city like New York could expect if an unexpected mutant strain of the virus found its way here. This new (and quite early) Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response plan is piggybacking on the fears of those already freaked by the avian flu terror making its way around the globe. Thomas Frieden, the city's health commissioner, admits that even though avian flu isn't as big a concern as regular run-of-the-mill influenza, any flu brewing overseas could end up in the five boroughs and spread in an avian flu-like fashion. So, better to be prepared than sorry.

Some of the highlights of the plan include ways to implement infection control in hospitals and workplaces, figuring out how to dole out vaccines and ventilators, and finding the appropriate roles for the NYPD and FDNY in times of infectious crises. Oh, and we should mention that even if you're a high risk person who ought to have a flu shot, the DOH recommends waiting until the fall when the popular strains for the flu season are known.