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N.C. Health Department Drills for Epidemic

MORGANTON, N.C.– Burke County (N.C.) Health Department and emergency services officials worked on what to do in the case of an outbreak of a disease Friday.

They used the flu clinic, held at the Morganton-Burke Senior Center, as a model for mass distribution of medicine.

Health Department Director David Rust said normally the county has enough medicine for most common diseases, even outbreaks.

Outbreaks of some diseases happen regularly, including stomach viruses in the winter months.

The drill is really to help the county in the case of an outbreak of an unusual disease.

Something like whooping cough would be very unusual, he said.

Rust said the county wouldn t be prepared for an outbreak of an unusual disease.

That s where the drill comes in. He said the county can get as much medicine as it needs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

They have to be ready to receive a large stockpile of medicine, so the drill organizes what everyone will do, he said.

He said the county receives the stockpile in an undisclosed location.

It is distributed from there to the health department, hospitals and paramedics.