Diane Welch, associate professor of nursing, will present “Pandemic Flu: Truth and Consequences,” on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall.
Welch will provide a brief history of pandemic flu and talk about public health officials' predictions for the future. She will also discuss the national plan for responding to pandemic flu and share some local preparation initiatives. One important control measure is to shut down schools and colleges to prevent the spread of disease.
According to Welch, public health officials agree that a worldwide flu outbreak will eventually occur.
"A pandemic flu is inevitable," Welch said. "But there are things we can do as individuals and as a community to help ourselves prepare for that eventuality."
A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which the vaccine may be inadequate or unavailable. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in a very short time.
Welch teaches about infection control and prevention in her Linfield classes. In addition to her responsibilities at Linfield, she is a public health nurse at the Clark County Health Department where she works in communicable disease and is responsible for preparing for the pandemic flu or any other widely spread biological event.
Welch has been a member of the Linfield faculty since 1992. She holds a bachelor's and a master's in nursing from the University of Portland.
The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.