Pandemic planning

Published September 4, 2007

Churches must begin preparing for the influenza pandemic that the World Health Organization warns will occur in just a matter of time, said a panel of health experts at a presentation at St. James’ Cathedral in Toronto.

“It will spread quickly around the globe.,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto Public Health’s associate medical officer of health and director of communicable disease control. “Even back in 1918-1919, before jet travel, it spread across the world. If you look at what happened with SARS – people are traveling back and forth. It could be here within days.”

Canon Douglas Graydon, the diocese of Toronto’s co-ordinator of chaplaincy services and pandemic co-ordinator, said parishes need to have a pandemic preparedness plan in place and not simply rely on government, whose social and health care resources are bound to be overwhelmed by the emergency.


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