Flu Pandemic

As experts predict the severity of the next flu pandemic... Amarillo doctors are taking strong steps to combat the flu.

NewsChannel 10's Noelle Gardner explains why we need to be prepared.

People easily spread the flu through coughs, sneezes and germy hands-- every few decades a new outbreak and flu strain causes a worldwide epidemic.

Doctor Bruce Baker says, "A flu pandemic requires a virus be new and people not have immunity to it- that it spread from person to person and that the virtual infection can cause problems a new virus tends to effect more people in the population and there's a higher risk of death mainly from the people infected."

The media buzz might have died down but doctor Bruce Baker tells me it's still out there.

Doctor Baker says, "The influenza that circulates this year is bad enough it will cause a number of deaths as far as the bird flu it's an influenza - but a different strand."

Current technology it would take several months to turn out a bird vaccine-- and Dr Baker tells me there wouldn't be enough to go around.

I chatted it up with some Amarilloans about to take flight-- they are taking the right steps.

Traveler, Virginia Williams says, "Just keep your hands clean - we decided this year not to do the shots last year we did the shot and got sick"

Julia O'Rear adds, "I will definitely make sure I keep my hand sanitizer."

Air travel has long been suspected of playing a role in flu's gradual spread around the globe.

Some say it's worth it to be prepared.

Most experts expect the deadly flu will eventually effect birds in the U.S. but the jump to humans is inevitable.