Monroe – The Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health has scheduled a regional training exercise to help the parishes in the LDH Region VIII community prepare to respond for a future influenza outbreak.  These parishes include Caldwell, East and West Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas and Union.

The training exercise is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe, LA. Members of the news media are invited to attend any or all of the exercise.

The trainings feature a discussion-based scenario designed to educate communities about pandemic influenza and test the existing emergency response plans. In addition, exercises such as this help identify local and regional partners who will be critical should a widespread flu outbreak ever occur.

Those invited to the training exercise include business and industry leaders, safety professionals, faith-based organizations, tribal organizations and other federal, state and local agencies involved in pandemic influenza planning.