Flu pandemic could limit federal aid to local communities, plan says

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Local governments will bear most of the burden of protecting its residents if a flu pandemic strikes, according to an official pandemic flu plan released by the government this week.

"The center of gravity of the pandemic response will be in communities, (and) the support the federal government can guarantee to any state, tribe or community will be limited," according to the plan. Local communities will have to address the medical and non-medical effects of the pandemic with available resources, the plan says.

How the federal and local governments will respond in a flu pandemic is key for providers such as nursing home operators, who must plan for potential emergencies and disasters, according to state government regulations.

A flu pandemic could infect one-third of the U.S. population, kill two million people and sideline 40% of employees from work, according to the plan. It also could result in a loss of $600 billion across the country, the plan said.