Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tonight at 8 PM: Rhode Island Responds: 2009 H1N1 (Swine) Flu

Last spring, the H1N1 (Swine) flu made headlines across the world with clusters of outbreaks and several deaths. In deference to warnings from health officials to expect more widespread outbreaks of the H1N1 (Swine) flu strain during the upcoming flu season, WSBE Rhode Island PBS presents Rhode Island Responds: 2009 H1N1 (Swine) Flu tonight at 8 P.M.

This live, one-hour program with viewer call-in will present the latest information about the H1N1 (Swine) Flu and vaccine, with focus on Rhode Island’s policies to prevent and plans to handle an outbreak, particularly among school-aged children. Hosted by NBC 10 Health Check reporter Barbara Morse Silva, panelists will be Dr. David Gifford, medical director of the RI Department of Health; Deborah Gist, commissioner of the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Dr. Penelope Dennehy, chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Hasbro Children's Hospital, and Dr. Michael Dacey, chief medical officer at Kent Hospital.

Viewers can call WSBE with questions anytime during the program. (The telephone number for the call-in lines will be displayed on the TV screen.) Volunteers and medical professionals will staff an off-camera phone bank to handle the questions. Some viewer questions will be transcribed and asked of the professionals on the air.

Viewers can also transmit their questions and comments electronically during the program by coming back to this blog.

Not near a TV tonight? NBC 10 WJAR will stream the program on their Web site:

Our Web site has a page with basic flu facts and links to Rhode Island and Massachusetts resources.

Watch WSBE Rhode Island PBS over the air on digital 36.1; Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08; DirecTV 36; Dish Network 7776. ComCast subscribers should check local listings for the right local channel number.