September 18, 2009
"We know we would have very high death rates," said Wendy Muckle, executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health. "We also know that with the numbers of people that we have who could be infected, we would decimate the health care system."
Ottawa Inner City Health is a non-profit organization started by groups that serve the homeless. It is funded by Ontario's Ministry of Health.
Muckle said shelters in Ottawa have been working on a pandemic plan for three years, and believe they have a good system in place to minimize the spread of the disease.
Otherwise, it could quickly sweep through the homeless population, whose members have high rates of HIV, hepatitis, diabetes, chronic respiratory problems and other existing health conditions that weaken their immunity to contagious diseases.
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