The Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health has scheduled a regional training exercise to help the parishes in its Region III area of the state prepare to respond for a future influenza outbreak.  These parishes include Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, and Terrebonne.

The training exercise is scheduled for Thursday, January 25, 2007, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Envie’s Banquet Room located at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel, 203 East Bayou Road, Thibodaux, Louisiana. Members of the news media are invited to attend any or all of the exercise.

This is the fifth regional pandemic flu exercise coordinated by the LDH Office of Public Health. Earlier exercises have occurred in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Monroe and Hammond.

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.