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THIS WEEK: Making plans to battle COVID-19

Fears of a pandemic in 2009 created a roadmap for today's preparations

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Many of the emergency plans being used today to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus were developed more than a decade ago by medical professionals.

"And literally this past month we have dusted them off.  I mean literally.  Dusted them off and adapted them to this," explained infectious disease specialist Dr. Louis Katz during an interview on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens".

"And this was what we were afraid of when that pandemic flu virus emerged in 2009."

Dr. Katz, the Medical Director for the Scott County Health Department, has been on the front line of infectious disease preparedness in the Quad Cities.

"We clearly weren't as prepared as we should have been," he added.

Dr. Katz says we should prepare for a longer time than just weeks when it comes to our lives getting back to normal.

He said he's worried about medical supply shortages at hospitals and other medical centers.

"My son is an emergency room physician in San Antonio, Texas.  I'm terrified for him."

He said front line doctors, nurses, and others are sometimes going to work without adequate personal protective equipment."

Watch a NEWS 8 THIS WEEK EXTRA as Dr. Katz also talks dealing with COVID-19, what makes it different from other viruses, and predicting the future of the pandemic.  It's on Facebook at WQAD Jim Mertens.

And added citizens can do a lot for health care workers by taking personal responsibilities themselves.

"Follow the guidance of public health as far as the guidance for social distancing."

Hand washing, staying home when you're sick, and "those things we've been harping on since very early on."

Watch "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.