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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:11 AM
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Japan, U.S. would work together in flu pandemic
Japan, U.S. would work together in flu pandemic
By Vince Little, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Sunday, March 8, 2009

Its a grim picture.

If a new human influenza virus developed and struck Japan, it could infect a quarter of the population, cause as many as 640,000 deaths and force 40 percent of the workforce to stay home, according to a Japanese government estimate.

The countrys plan for any future influenza pandemic calls for shutting down airports, closing schools and organizing mass cremations of the dead in hopes of keeping the virus off its shores or at least containing it.

U.S. Forces Japan and its service components have contingency plans for dealing with any major outbreak, said Marine Corps Master Sgt. Donald Preston, a USFJ spokesman at Yokota Air Base. U.S. and Japanese hospitals also have stockpiles of medication such as Tamiflu.

"Embassy officials and other U.S. leaders would work with the Japanese to ensure help for Americans and disseminate news," he said. "If a human outbreak did occur, its likely the government would ask people to remain at home, curtailing any outside activity until the outbreak is contained."

He declined to say whether USFJ would follow Japans move and halt military operational and Space-A passenger flights at its mainland Japan and Okinawa bases.

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