Disaster/Pandemic preparedness - page 26

I was looking the the other Disaster/Pandemic thread that Florida1 started. She mentioned that after the hurricanes, that they had problems getting basic supplies and food stores were often closed... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Launch of WHO H5N1 vaccine stockpile still awaited

    Do you think that countries possessing a vaccine for H5N1 will release
    it to other countries during a pandemic when they don't have enough
    for their own citizens?

    Even if the vaccines are available, how long does it take before the
    protection occurs? Many people that are vaccinated too late against seasonal
    flu, still get infected. Trying to vaccinate the people after pandemic starts is
    not an optimal solution, but may protect some. Storing the stockpile in the
    people is not possible since the stockpile does not exist yet, but it may be the
    best solution.


    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu//cidrap/co... vaccine.html

    Quote from www.cidrap.umn.edu

    "At this time, a physical WHO stockpile of H5N1 vaccine does not exist,
    and its development will depend on several factors, including discussions
    with manufacturers on the terms and conditions of their donation, as well as
    on technical issues such as obtaining further information on the stability of
    vaccines," says the report, which is based on a scientific meeting held in
    Geneva in October 2007.

    The 26-page report assesses the development of H5N1 vaccines to date and
    discusses their possible uses, including how the planned WHO stockpile would
    be used. The document is titled "Options for the Use of Human H5N1 Influenza
    Vaccines and the WHO H5N1 Vaccine Stockpile."

    In 3 more years, the report says, the stockpile could contain 50 million doses,
    or enough to vaccinate 25 million people with two doses each, which is likely to
    be needed to generate a good immune response.

    The WHO says the contemplated uses of the stockpile are (1) to help contain
    the initial, localized emergence of a potential H5N1 pandemic if the event is
    identified early enough and (2) to supply vaccine to countries that otherwise
    would have little access to it once sustained human-to-human transmission
    is under way.

    For several reasons, vaccination alone would probably not be enough to
    contain a local outbreak of an emerging pandemic virus, the report says.
    However, "mathematical modeling approaches suggest that under certain
    conditions, vaccination could make a significant addition to the effects of other
    control actions."

    In addition to GSK, companies that have expressed a willingness to contribute
    to the stockpile include Omninvest of Hungary, Baxter, and Sanofi Pasteur, the document says.

    The report says that at least 16 companies have H5N1 vaccines in "relatively
    advanced development." Studies on the vaccines so far suggest that they
    should be safe and effective, but their effectiveness can be confirmed only by
    trials in which people are exposed to H5N1 either experimentally or in an
    outbreak, the WHO states.
  2. by   indigo girl
    Bringing Back the Victory Garden

    I love this idea. I miss the modest little garden that I had in Rhode Island
    now that I am living in a Florida condo despite my beautiful lakeside view.

    Lots of useful advice here. Help yourself. It never hurts to prepare for
    whatever Mother Nature might dish out...


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Should a pandemic strike, it could conceivably go on for a year, perhaps longer. During that time there could be huge disruptions in the production and delivery of food. Our supplies chains are thought to be very fragile, and so food shortages are almost inevitable.

    Here is what the Health and Human Services website has to say about disruptions and shortages:

    "Stock a supply of water and food. During a pandemic you may not be able to get to a store. Even if you can get to a store, it may be out of supplies.

    Public waterworks services may also be interrupted. Stocking supplies can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters."
  3. by   indigo girl
    The Over-The-Hill-Gang


    He is so right about this. There will be a tremendous need for volunteers,
    and not just for HCW.

    People in their 50's, are a good choice, but anyone older that has something
    to offer should do so. We have a greater chance of surviving should we
    become infected. And, most of us are not still raising young children...

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Pandemic flu in general, and bird flu in particular, likes younger people. As this chart shows, 90% of all recorded cases of bird flu, and the highest mortality rates, appear in those under the age of 40.

    Last edit by indigo girl on May 20, '08
  4. by   indigo girl
    Prepandrix prepares EU for bird flu


    I found this article to be somewhat confusing.

    Quote from www.hospitalhealthcare.com

    ...first vaccine to be approved for use in the EU. Switzerland has already ordered 8 million doses - sufficient to cover its entire population - and the US has ordered 27.5 million.

    Prepandrix is based on the Vietnam strain and been found to be effective in preventing death in 96% of cases.
    96% of whose deaths? Mice?

    Then, they made this claim:

    Quote from www.hospitalhealthcare.com

    "For the first time the authorities are approving a prepandemic vaccine. We have demonstrated that even if the H5N1 virus drifts to a different strain it is still effective."

    But in the next paragraph, is this:

    Quote from www.hospitalhealthcare.com

    If a future pandemic influenza virus has mutated too far away from the H5N1 strain, GSK's vaccine will not be effective and a new vaccine will have to be made.

    So if the virus drifts to a different strain, it is still effective, but if it mutates
    too far away, it isn't. This makes no sense to me. Maybe the article is just
    poorly written.
  5. by   indigo girl
    Submitted For Your Viewing Discomfort

    I concur. These are excellent choices.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    ...I've put together another list of pandemic/bird flu related videos freely available on the Internet. All of these are from respected sources, and they contain a wealth of information.

    These videos sometimes disappear from the web, so watch them while you can.

    BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL - Prepared by Public Health Seattle and King County (leaders in pandemic awareness and preparation in the US), this 20 minute video is a free download from the Internet or is available as a free DVD. If you watch just one video . . . make it this one.
  6. by   indigo girl
    Get Pandemic Ready: Why Three Months? Part 1


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    One of the big debates over preparedness is over how much food, water, medicine and essential supplies would be prudent for each family stockpile?

    In a severe pandemic, according to the CDC, all family members in the household will be asked to stay at home and avoid going to work or the store if a family member is sick, for at least 7 days after the last person started showing symptoms. If a family is large, everyone may be staying home for quite some time until it is clear that no one could still be contagious. A long absence from work may result in a loss of income.

    Get Pandemic Ready: Why Three Months Part 2


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Our lives are supported by critical complex systems: health care, electricity, water, sewer, etc. These are the complex systems we take for granted; however they can break down quickly if people are not there to run them. When workers (or their families) get pandemic flu, the critical infrastructure may degrade or fail...

    A degraded or failed infrastructure has grave implications, affecting both our personal welfare and the economy. They are inseparable - both need to be healthy for us to get through a flu pandemic

    Add to this the "just-in-time" business model adopted universally over the last decades. Supplies are not kept on-site, but rather ordered "just-in-time" from regional warehouses. Consequently, your grocery store has approximately three days of cornflakes on the shelves. The former warehouse is now on wheels.
  7. by   indigo girl
    The Crisis of Complacency


    Quote from hstoday.us

    ...governments at all levels remain unprepared for dealing with catastrophic and mass casualty events. Globally, many more governments are even less prepared for such disasters.

    HSToday.us revealed in a two-part series that federal and state governments aren’t paying nearly enough attention to the steady deterioration of emergency medical care across the nation – the very medical care that will be needed in the event of a mass casualty catastrophe.

    But if governments are lax in their preparedness, and equally as remiss in stressing the imperative that citizens be prepared, how can the citizenry be expected to be geared up?

    It should be no surprise then that preparedness authorities are increasingly alarmed about the publics’ across the board complacency toward preparedness, not just for catastrophic disasters, but even the most common of disasters - like hurricanes in the south.

    “This creeping complacency, as many of us call it, among the public at large is quite disturbing,” said a senior federal emergency preparedness official HSToday.us frequently consults.

    No doubt. Studies have shown that less than one-third of all Americans have not taken special steps to prepare for an emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that “Americans are too busy, too distracted, or too frightened to plan carefully for a natural disaster, disease outbreak, or local catastrophe.”
    hat tip Monotreme/pfi
  8. by   indigo girl
    Health and Human Services's Next Webcast June 4th on Pandemic Issues


    Why do you suppose HHS is going thru the trouble of producing these programs?
    Would you ever imagine the need to schedule a program on home care?

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    ... since March of this year the HHS has been producing a series of Webcasts on preparing for an influenza pandemic.

    Next week, a new program will air, dealing with workplace issues during a pandemic. Your input prior to this Webcast is being solicited by the HHS...

    In July, a program on home care during a pandemic is scheduled.

    These programs generally run a bit over an hour, and are well worth your time.
  9. by   indigo girl
    Pandemics And School Closures


    Quote from www.cidrap.umn.edu

    A survey of North Carolina families affected by a 10-day school closure due to a sharp rise in influenza-related absences found that the measure didn't cause families major hardships, but many did not heed a recommendation to avoid large gatherings.

    The findings by researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services were published yesterday as an early online article in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID).
    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    There are concerns that closing the schools would force working parents to stay home with their kids, that kids that depend on the school lunch program will go without proper nutrition, and that kids will congregate in other places, negating the beneficial effects of school closures.

    Valid arguments, all.

    But when weighed against the potential loss of thousands (perhaps tens or even hundreds of thousands) of children's lives, they do seem to lose much of their persuasiveness.

    There are 80 million children in the United States under the age of 20, and past pandemics have shown that the young are often more grievously affected by novel viruses. The potential for disaster here is too great to ignore.
  10. by   indigo girl
    Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA)


    Quote from www.hhs.gov

    On December 2006, Congress passed and the President signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), Public Law No. 109-417, which has broad implications for the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) preparedness and response activities. The Act established within the Department a new Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR); provided new authorities for a number of programs, including the advanced development and acquisitions of medical countermeasures; and called for the establishment of a quadrennial National Heath Security Strategy.
    The purpose of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act is "to improve the Nation's public health and medical preparedness and response capabilities for emergencies, whether deliberate, accidental, or natural."
  11. by   indigo girl
    Commentary: Pandemic flu vaccine program needs help


    The same issue keeps appearing with all aspects of pandemic planning,
    namely the lack of transparency from those that we should hold most
    accountable. Even the Federal Times is commenting on it though only on
    this one aspect of a much bigger problem.

    People need to have faith in their leaders particularly during emergencies.
    Trust once lost is seldom regained. It will have to be earned, and that can
    only happen if TPTB wake up enough to realize that it is gone.

    Quote from federaltimes.com

    A government document-never released-presents a troubling picture of a
    vaccine shortage during an influenza pandemic: Overall, about 2 percent of
    Americans with influenza illness die. Hospitals are overwhelmed. People riot at
    some vaccination clinics as they are turned away or supplies run out.
    Trucks transporting vaccine are hijacked. Public anxiety heightens mistrust of
    government. Mortuaries and funeral homes are overwhelmed. The majority of
    people still have not been vaccinated when a second wave of influenza begins.

    The document was never released to the public as originally planned. Its
    portrayal of public chaos and a heightened mistrust of government is a reminder
    of past blunders-and this may have hit too close to home.

    The government has announced its plans, and they are not reassuring. The
    official word is that it will be several years before government-funded
    vaccine manufacturers are fully ready to produce vaccine. Even then, there
    won't be enough vaccine for everyone until six months after the start of a

    The government's pandemic flu vaccine program is a fairly good one, with
    scientists who are among the best in vaccine research and production. But
    the program has an obvious and easily corrected weakness: lack of

    (hat tip Avian Flu Diary)
  12. by   indigo girl
    Hong Kong experiments with anti-H5N1 cocktails


    They used Relenza, Celebrex, and NSAIDs. It improved the survival rate, at
    least in mice. Treatment was not started until after 48 hours. At this time,
    survival in humans indicates that treatment with Tamiflu must occur during the
    first 48 hours. Also, Relenza is an inhalent drug unless they have found some
    new way to deliver it. I wonder how they gave it to the mice...

    This is an interesting article and the treatment looks promising. There has
    not been much to offer victims of H5N1 except Tamiflu, and already, there
    have been some cases of Tamiflu resistance. Research into alternative drugs
    is desperately needed.

    Quote from uk.reuters.com

    Some experts believe H5N1 triggers a "cytokine storm" -- a reaction in the
    immune system so severe it ends up killing the patient. The H5N1 is associated
    with a mortality rate of between 60 and 80 percent in people.

    Professor Yuen Kwokyung, a leading microbiologist at the University of Hong
    Kong, said the team used the antiviral drug zanamivir and two non-steroidal
    anti-inflammatory agents.

    Commenting on the latter, Yuen said: "They suppress the cytokine storm
    without suppressing the good protective response, which steroids do. Steroids
    suppress everything."

    "So the patient has the chance of mounting ... an antibody response,"
    he told Reuters.
  13. by   indigo girl
    Where do the presidential candidates stand on pandemic preparation?


    At least some of them have thought about it...

    Quote from www.dailykos.com

    A reminder from Barack Obama:

    If we're lucky, we'll have at least a year, or perhaps several years, to prepare for a flu pandemic. But we might not be so lucky. And regardless of whether it is this particular strain of avian flu, H5N1, or another deadly strain, the time to act is long overdue if we want to prevent unprecedented human suffering, death, and economic devastation.