Local Health Experts Train for Food-Borne Illness Epidemic

Imagine hundreds of people suddenly coming down with a food-borne illness, and needing emergency attention.

That was the scenario as some area public health professionals took part in a day-long emergency preparedness exercise.

It was a practice run for a situation that health experts hope never happens, area emergency rooms flooded with people suffering from a food-borne epidemic.

"This is a practice test to see how we would handle a widespread, food-borne disease epidemic," said Dr. William Burgin, City-County Health Director.

Representatives from area hospitals, first responders, doctors, nurses and public health investigators all took part in the table-top exercise. It was a massive effort to check our city and county's readiness in case something like this were to ever happen.

"It's important because, unless you exercise and know what to do and who to communicate with, and who your partners are, then when the thing actually occurs, if it ever does, God forbid, then how do you react?" Burgin said.

While there has never been a massive food-born emergency, Burgin said it's always a possibility. So it is always best to be prepared.

Burgin said he has only experienced a similar type of food-borne illness en mass, and that was when he was in the Army. But incidents like this could happen anywhere, anytime.


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