But the city and county health departments have spent the week rehearsing for one should it ever occur.
Part of the drill consists of working on how the community could be quickly evacuated as result of bird flu, or avian flu.
According to the federal government, there have been no human cases of bird flu in the United States.
“We've had lots of meetings and multi-agency cooperation, where we get with all the local agencies to make everybody aware of it and see what everybody's role would be,” city Health Department communication coordinator Curry Nunley said.
Health officials worked with the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and the county and state health departments on the drill.
The Ohio Department of Health supplied simulated pandemic information for the city to coordinate the drill.
“Then we have to react to that,” Nunley said.
For example, ODH would tell local officials where a mock case of bird flu was located in the city.
As part of the drill, clinics were set up at the SOMC LIFE Center and local schools. First responders and doctors then rushed to those locations to give out bird flu vaccines.
Nunley said it's still being determined how a bird flu vaccine would work.
“I don't even know for sure if they have a vaccine yet,” she said. “But it's definitely in the works. But this is just getting all the local health departments in the state ready to respond to something like this.”
The drill was to conclude on Thursday, with health officials going over its results today.
“We'll get everybody together and see what we did wrong and what we could do better,” Nunley said. “But so far, everything seems to be going smoothly. We're just learning as we go, basically.”
According to pandemicflu.gov, wild birds carry avian flu in their intestines but do not get sick from it. Bird flu is contagious among birds and can kill them.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.