Flu pandemics can reach isolated towns | VailDaily.com

Flu pandemics can reach isolated towns

Allen Best

TELLURIDE – In 1918, isolated though they were from the rest of the world, the little mining towns of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains were hard hit by the flu epidemic. More people lost their lives to the flu than had been killed in the world war that had just ended.In Telluride, local Greg Craig has been drumming on local officials and agencies for the past four years to better prepare for a major public health emergency such as a flu pandemic. Now, with fears mounting of another flu pandemic, he’s badgering local officials once again, The Telluride Watch reported.At least some public officials think his proposed response is over the top. “We’re not going to go through a 500-page plan when disaster hits,” said San Miguel county Sheriff Bill Masters. “We have to keep it simple. If a plan’s simple, it’s more likely to be used.”But Craig’s points are being heard. Among other what-ifs, San Miguel County officials are pondering what if the economy halts – how can 7,000 people (plus visitors) be fed and watered?Resort town may bottle spare waterGRAND LAKE, Colo. Add Grand Lake to the list of headwater mountain towns thinking there’s money to be made from bottled water.Located at the very headwaters of the Colorado River, the resort town rarely uses even half of its allocated water. Because only Rocky Mountain National Park is located above the town, and there was never much mining in the region, the water is absent many impurities. “Most municipalities wish they had it that clear when they send it out to the public,” says Shane Hale, the town manager.The Sky Hi News reports preliminary planning that could yield an introductory stock of bottled water within a few months. The hope is that this Grand Lake water – no name was mentioned – could achieve the same success as other bottled waters in Colorado. Biota water comes from ice-climbing capital Ouray, while Aspen – despite its name – comes from the San Luis Valley. But both of those brands are dwarfed by the bottled water sold by PepsiCo and Coca Cola, called respectively Aquafina and Desani.Vail, Colorado

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