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Press Release

Cable TV Show Clarifies The Difference Between Seasonal Flu, Avian Flu

February 3, 2006

The differences between Avian Flu and the Seasonal Flu that strikes every winter are explained by the county's director of communicable disease in a new episode of the cable TV show "Get Ready, Get Healthy."

The episode will have its premiere broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 6 on Contra Costa Television, which is Channel 27 for Comcast cable viewers and Channel 32 for Astound viewers. It will rerun at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 9 and 16, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 13, and other times in the future.

"There is a natural confusion between all the news we hear about avian flu, and the seasonal flu that is one of our most common diseases," said Francie Wise, Director of Communicable Disease for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), the county health department. "There will be even more in the news if and when the new strain of Avian Flu reaches North America, but seasonal flu sickens millions and kills more than 30,000 every year in the U.S."

Wise also talks about the difference between a cold and seasonal flu, how to avoid flu, the reasons it is safe to eat properly cooked poultry, and how the Avian Flu has been contracted from birds in Asia.

Later in the show, animal expert and local columnist Gary Bogue of the Contra Costa Times talks about how Avian Flu can be spread among pets and wildlife.

"Get Ready, Get Healthy" is produced through a partnership between CCHS and the county public access station, Contra Costa Television (CCTV). The show began in 2004 and stars local TV and radio veteran Doug Spangler as host.

Contra Costa Health Services and CCTV also produce a similar show in Spanish titled Vida Sana En Vivo, and the newest episode of that show is also about avian flu and seasonal flu. It will make its debut on CCTV at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, February 16, and will play again at 5 p.m. Friday, February 17 and 24, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feburary 23, and other times in the future.

For more information about communicable diseases such as the flu, go to the Contra Costa Health Services website ( and click on Health Topics. More information about Get Ready Get Healthy and Vida Sana En Vivo is also available at the site, or by calling 925-313-6817.

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Press Contact
  • Francie Wise
  • 925-313-6740