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Episcopal Relief & Development Prepares for Flu Season

In the face of an international H1N1 flu pandemic and the approach of the regular influenza season, Episcopal Relief & Development is continuing to monitor the public health situation.

"Although national and local health officials will take the lead in responding to a pandemic, faith-based and community-based organizations will also have an important role," said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs.

"Through our national church networks, we can help ensure that those affected by a health emergency will receive the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they need."

On June 11, the World Health Organization stated that a worldwide H1N1 pandemic is underway. WHO estimates that due to lack of immunity against the new virus, one-third of the global population will become infected with H1N1—far higher than the typical seasonal flu infection rate of 5% to 20%.

Episcopal Relief & Development is maintaining regular contact with national and local public health officials. "Our U.S. disaster relief staff are staying up to date on the public health situation and we are poised to respond," Nelson said.

"We also are connected with other emergency response agencies through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. This collaboration will enable us to most effectively serve Episcopalians and other communities in the face of a pandemic."

Information on preparing for potential H1N1 and other influenza outbreaks is available on the Episcopal Relief & Development website. The site links to examples of preparedness plans and provides resources that can help faith-based and other organizations continue operating effectively and provide support to communities affected by a health crisis.

For more information, visit To support Episcopal Relief &Development, please make a donation online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. As an independent 501(c) (3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.

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