I received this in my email from the city of Houston:
Information on the Swine Flu
The City of Houston‘s Health and Human Services Department continues to monitor very closely developments surrounding an outbreak of Swine Flu in Mexico and cases reported elsewhere in the United States. We are working with federal and state health officials to ensure prompt detection and appropriate responses. There are no known cases in Southeast Texas at this time. Meanwhile, the best sources of information and advice on the Swine Flu and this occurrence include the following:
- The City of Houston website, which will provide information specific to Houston and the area as warranted: http://www.houstontx.gov/health/swineflu.html
- The state Health Department’s website providing information about Texas‘ situation and response: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu/default.shtm
- The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:
- The World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html
Library receives computer for the visually impaired
— by the Houston Chronicle
Baytown’s Sterling Municipal Library has a new way to serve the visually impaired. The Friends of Sterling Library, a non-profit group that supports library services, recently purchased a special computer which allows blind and visually impaired patrons to access technology with greater ease. The new computer has an extra large 22 inch monitor, a Braille keyboard, and is loaded with special software called “JAWS.”
A timeline of events in the swine flu outbreak
— by the Houston Chronicle
December 2005 to January 2009: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention receives reports of 12 cases of human infection with swine flu. Five of these 12 cases occurred in patients who had direct exposure to pigs and six reported being near pigs. Exposure in one case is unknown.
April 28: The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. climbs to 51 in six states. The death toll, all in Mexico, was at 152; 20 are confirmed swine flu and the rest are suspected.
BNET has a great little post about the three things that happen when you work in an environment where everything is treated as a “Code Red emergency.” What they point to:
- All problems get treated as five-alarm fires, whether they’re truly urgent or not. This means when something really is mission-critical, it might not get the attention it deserves.
- Stress levels rise as staffers try to adjust to perpetual long hours and non-stop pressure.
- Burnout happens, productivity drops, and employee engagement disappears.
I agree, though I would have pulled the three items in #3 as individual items.
The Gates Foundation announced recently that they will spend $57 million on overseas libraries. Specifically, it will go to improve Internet access in libraries in Poland, Romania, and Vietnam.
Call me greedy, but I’d rather see the monies spent in the US. We still have a lot of libraries here that need improved Internet access, computers, and digital literacy programs.
(From the Houston Chronicle.)