Pandemic Flu Outbreak Drill Planned for East Texas

East Texas hospitals will soon find out how capable they are of handling a Pandemic Flu outbreak.  Eight medical facilities, city and county officials, and public health leaders will participate in a Pandemic Flu Drill Wednesday.

Hospitals in Lufkin and surrounding areas will be flooded with sick and dying patients, emergency workers will have a shortage of employees who are out sick, and city and county offices will be understaffed because of the Avian Flu.

"What would you do if your staff was all of a sudden reduced significantly? What about supplies?" asked Yana Ogletree, Memorial hospital's marketing director. "We'll go through each of those scenarios. For example, the first week, we will have the increase in patient load. [The] second week, a decrease in staff and Tamiflu runs out."

The Pandemic Flu Drill is a region-wide project. Hundreds of people in 12 East Texas counties will participate in Wednesday's training.