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Missouri Lawmakers say the State isn't prepared to deal with bird flu

May 3, 2006
By: Amy Becker
State Capital Bureau

Missouri lawmakers say if bird flu were to hit tomorrow, the state is not even close to being prepared.

Amy Becker has more from the state Capitol.

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Lawmakers expresssed hesitancy when asked the level of preparation in Missouri for a possible bird flu outbreak.

This came after a letter from President Bush was released, outlining what the United States can expect if the bird flu hits.

St. Louis Senator Pat Dougherty expressed concern of the shortage of nurses in Missouri.

Dougherty says if bird flu were to hit Missouri, it would not have the medical capability to handle the many casualties.

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Contents: But I do believe we need to back on the fact that we need to be much more aggressive in terms of medicines that are going to be needed to address this and I don't think we've gone near as far as fast as we could have.

The Bush letter states that it will be up to state and local governments to handle bird flu since the outbreak will be too large for the federal government to deal with.

Dougherty says he feels the federal government has an obligation to help states with the pharmaceutical end of vaccinating once the flu hits.

From Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker