Disaster/Pandemic preparedness - page 29

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
    HHS Guidance on Allocating And Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine

    Please understand, once a pandemic is declared, they are saying that it
    will take 20 weeks for a vaccine targeted to the specific flu strain occurring to
    be ready to roll. That's 5 months to begin vaccinating the available amounts
    of vaccine going first to the most at risk population which is prioritized by
    factors such as age, occupation, pregnancy, and this is modern medicine
    at its finest which is why we should be concerned.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Today we have the long-awaited release of the HHS's (Dept. Health and
    Human Services) guidance on pandemic vaccine allocation called
    Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine.

    ...a targeted pandemic vaccine won't begin rolling off the production lines
    for 20 weeks, and then, only in limited quantities.

    ... the availability of a strain specific vaccine for a pandemic will be extremely
    limited during the first six months, and possibly longer, into a pandemic crisis.

    Anytime you have to prioritize who will receive a potentially life-saving vaccine
    first - and who will have to wait - there will controversy. No plan is likely to
    please everyone.
  2. by   indigo girl
    Some State Preparedness Messages

    Just looking at how some states have tried to prepare their citizens,
    it becomes obvious that the next pandemic is not only expected, but that
    there is real concern that it will not be mild as in 1957 or 1968. The very
    fact that a highly virulent bird flu virus currently is present in birds on three
    different continents, and that it has jumped species to infect mammals
    including humans increases that risk.

    Here is a video from California, a state that is at the forefront of the
    preparedness effort. Human to human transmission of H5N1 was unknown
    in 2006 hence the remarks that it had not happened yet. That has since
    changed, and some suspect more frequently than is publicly acknowledged
    as the existence of clusters of cases in places such as Indonesia and Pakistan
    might indicate.

    Secretary Leavitt of HHS is telling it like it is. Pandemics are part of our
    biological history. They have always occurred, and they always will.
    Nothing can change this fact, not modern science, not Big Pharma, and not
    modern sanitation. Our only defense is to be prepared as best as we can.


    Will edgy messages be enough to get the public's attention as in the
    PSAs mentioned in the following link?

  3. by   indigo girl
    Florida pandemic flu drill dead-on with projections (so to speak)


    Commentary on a recent pandemic flu exercise in Florida from
    Scott MacPherson, CIO of the Florida House of Representatives.

    This exercise involved a case fatality ratio of only 2%. If it is
    the H5N1 virus that we are hit with, it's current CFR is over 60%.
    Something, unpleasant to consider, but should be kept in mind.
    Exercises never use this figure...

    Quote from tinyurl.com

    ...the issue of 16,000 new orphans arose during the simulation. How will
    Florida cope with 16,000 new orphans? The answer was not forthcoming.
    And that is fine for now: As long as the question is asked in a public
    setting, the answer can come later. Just get someone thinking about that
    and get back to him quickly.

    Equally comforting in its bluntness was the estimate of 100,000 Floridians
    dead from pandemic influenza. That is in line with HHS projections for a
    2% case fatality rate. Eighteen million Floridians, at a 30% attack rate,
    with a 2% CFR ..... right on line with the scenario. There was no attempt
    to lower the CFR; no attempt at a happy ending.

    Many eyes were opened during the exercise. According to the Miami
    Herald, Governor Charlie Crist looked up at Fugate and asked, "Could this
    really happen?"

    Fugate's measured response: ''Unfortunately, that's what science tells us.
    Do we want this to happen? Pray it never does. But we have to ask, what
    if it did?''
  4. by   indigo girl
    Updates in Pandemic Planning for Japan


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    In another sign that global concerns over a pandemic have not lessened,
    Japan's Health Ministry is seeking nearly a 10-fold increase in their
    pandemic budget for 2009.

    Japan's government has been very proactive in pandemic preparedness,
    acquiring antivirals and pre-pandemic vaccines, while the private sector
    in Japan has been less inclined to prepare.

    Plan To Add 3,600 Ventilators in Japan

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    ... at least part of that funding (2 Billion yen) would go towards increasing
    the number of ventilators (or `respirators', as this article calls them) in
    medical districts around that nation.
  5. by   indigo girl
    Uncovering Influenza's Achilles Heel


    Basic research is where it's at. Some day in the not too distant
    future, this research will pay off. I hope it is sooner rather than
    later. We need to understand how influenza infects cells to
    develop effective defense strategies against it.

    This is a very important piece of work.

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    The researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of a
    site on an influenza A virus protein that binds to one of the human protein
    targets, thereby suppressing a person's natural defenses to the infection
    and paving the way for the virus to replicate efficiently. This so-called
    NS1 virus protein is shared by all influenza A viruses isolated from
    humans, including avian influenza, or bird flu, and the 1918 pandemic
    influenza virus.

    ... the NS1 protein binds a human protein known as CPSF30, which is
    important for protecting human cells from flu infection. Once bound to
    NS1, the human protein can no longer generate molecules needed to
    suppress flu virus replication.
  6. by   indigo girl
    Pandemic PPE for the Japanese HCW

    First of all, I can not imagine working in this kind of get-up, but I
    would wear it if I had it available and I were being exposed. And, second,
    who is going to provide this? Not my hospital, since they already think
    they've got everything under control for any eventuality. Running out of
    O2? Not to worry, we will be resupplied by barges on our island fortress.
    But what happens when the suppliers run out? No answer because the
    planners have not considered it or maybe there is some other plan that
    no one has mentioned...

    Anyway, this is what Japan is doing for protective gear, and they are
    also talking a lot about plans to inoculate staff with a prepandemic H5N1
    vaccine so much so that it would appear that they are really going to do
    follow through with these plans. This vaccine is in limited supply and is
    based on an older strain of virus. No one knows if it will prevent infection
    with the pandemic strain, whatever that may happen to be, but the thinking
    is most likely that it will prevent mortality if not infection.

    Quite a contrast between what is happening there and what is happening
    here. Perhaps, actually knowing that bird flu has invaded in your country
    more than once, and will most likely reappear again gives them the
    necessary impetus to implement action in advance of a pandemic strain's
    appearance. That, and the continued evolution of the H5N1 virus, as well
    as the not so far away problem of Indonesia unremittingly hiding cases of
    bird flu in humans though the last large outbreak scared even them enough
    to call the WHO back in for help.

    Sure, it's all based on a possible event, but history is full of these events
    and there is no plausible reason to think that Mother Nature will stop
    producing pandemic viruses no matter how sophisticated our modern
    medical techniques and knowledge. We still can not prevent it from
    happening though we are currently using many delaying tactics and
    using our weapons effectively such as they are. Culling of sick or
    potentially sick poultry, treatment of infected humans and use of the
    Tamiflu blanket for those exposed to them or sick poultry, have been
    successful thus far. We have had luck on our side when Tamiflu
    resistant strains have occurred in that those strains have not been
    more easily transmissible to humans yet. But, the very fact that this
    resistance has occurred is why we should be thinking like the Japanese.
    Human to human cases have occurred, and they will again because they
    can. The concern is that some day, H5N1 will get it right, with a drug
    resistant, easily transmissible strain,and then we will be dependent on
    our mitigation strategies to protect our population with no vaccine, and
    not enough of anything from PPE, to Tamiflu, beds, vents, O2, or even
    antibiotics to treat the resulting cases of pneumonia. What are we
    going to do then that we could have done now?

  7. by   indigo girl
    The Downfall of Just in Time Delivery


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    One of the most effective voices urging that we take strong steps to
    address supply chain issues during a pandemic- particularly for our
    coal fired power generating facilities -is Dr. Michael Osterholm of CIDRAP.

    He makes the case for other industries, including offshore
    pharmaceutical manufacturing, PPE's, and other critical supplies as well.

    If you have never listened to one of his presentations, I would urge you
    to seek one out.

    Next week Dr. Osterholm's presentation at the The Pandemic Threat:
    Preparing an Organizational Response conference should be available online.
  8. by   indigo girl

    It is actually amazing that the govt is reaching out to give citizens
    this information. Too bad they are not making more of an effort
    to promote it. Hardly anyone will ever know that they are doing
    this. If you really want to reach people, you have to be willing to
    go the extra mile, and put the message where they can not help
    but see it as in PSA's during prime time, bill boards, magazine ads...
    Why not really do the job you say you are trying to do, which is to
    educate? It kind of gives a mixed message when compared to what
    they did to educate about AIDS or even to try to reduce cigarette
    smoking. There is no question that the govt is serious about the
    pandemic preparations to the tune of millions of dollars. They do know
    that it is inevitable, just not how bad or when it will happen.

    Contrasting what is happening here with what the Japanese are doing.
    I best understand the difference in response by noting that Japan admits
    to H5N1 outbreaks occurring in their country in the last few years. They
    probably feel much more threatened because they are so much closer to
    the problem. They know it is coming back, and they suspect that it is going
    to be a serious problem at some point. The Koreans had a very difficult
    time trying to stop it with the last outbreaks, and they are close by.

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    The latest in a series of PlanFirst Webcasts from the HHS is scheduled to
    take place later this week, on September 25th, at 2pm EDT.

    This month's broadcast will be on individual preparedness for a pandemic.
    You may submit your questions via email prior to, and during the broadcast.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Sep 30, '08
  9. by   indigo girl
    What Japan Is Doing



    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Over the summer 6,000 medical personnel were inoculated in Japan in the
    largest test of the vaccine to date to see if unwanted side effects would
    show up.

    Nothing serious has been reported.

    Now Japan is drawing up a list of 10 to 15 million workers who would,
    during a pandemic, be at particular risk of contracting the virus and who
    are considered essential.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    A government health panel is recommending the use of masks in the
    event a new type of influenza breaks out in Japan, suggesting that
    households should store 20 to 25 masks per person.

    The recommendations from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry
    - special conference, compiled in a report Monday, are due to be
    carried on the ministry's Web site in the near future, as the ministry
    calls for caution among residents.

    Masks are sold in packs at pharmacies and convenience stores. However,
    they are not able to completely stop people from breathing in viruses, and
    the ministry says it is important for people not to come within two meters
    of patients and to take preventive measures such as avoiding crowded places.
  10. by   indigo girl
    And the Answer Is . . . At Least Two Weeks

    It is worth noting that, in this Webcast we are hearing probably for the
    first time that the Red Cross is inferring that you might actually
    need 6 to 12 months of supplies. Now what emergency can you think
    of that would really last 6 to 12 months other than a pandemic?
    If he is saying at least 2 weeks because that is all they think most people
    could afford to do but then says 6 to 12 months would be ideal,
    that might give you a clue as to how long the Red Cross thinks the
    situation would last.

    Is it that difficult to put some canned goods away? I think most of us
    could manage to put a month's worth of food by if we did some
    budgeting, and put family security ahead of entertainment. But, it is
    true, many folks are struggling just to get by in today's economy.

    Do your best to have some kind of plan for emergencies.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    During yesterday's HHS Webcast on personal preparedness the question was asked:

    How long should American households be stocking up for?

    The answer given by Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Officer, of the American Red Cross was:

    "At least two-weeks."

    He went on to say, "but if you could do more, that would be a wonderful thing."
    He added, "Six to 12 months would be wonderful, but that's probably not
    practical for most people."
    Last edit by indigo girl on Sep 30, '08
  11. by   indigo girl
    Three reasons to consider getting the pneumonia vaccine sometime soon:

    As we move into flu season in the year 2008. Consider the wisdom of
    trying to protect yourself from the secondary infection that caused many
    of the deaths in 1918. This vaccine may not keep you from getting
    pneumonia, but it might keep you from dying from it.

    Sometimes people get the flu even though they are vaccinated.
    Doctors will then treat them with Tamiflu, but we now live in a world in
    which one of our seasonal influenzas, H1N1 has become increasingly
    resistant to Tamiflu, our primary antiviral.

    It is a fact that most countries are actively preparing for the next
    pandemic. Has the world ever prepared in advance for a pandemic
    event before? The spread of the H5N1 virus into Europe, Africa, and
    Asia is great cause for concern. Most efforts to eradicate it have
    been temporarily successful at best as it almost always reappears later.
    It is likely to be an ongoing situation. There is no way to predict if this
    will be the pandemic virus but it is true that H5N1 is adapting to mammals,
    and that it is a very virulent virus killing most of those it infects.

  12. by   indigo girl
    HHS Personal Preparation Webcast Now Archived And Available Online

    Personal preparedness for the next pandemic, courtesy of the US govt:


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    On September 25th, the HHS held the 6th in their series of online
    Webinars designed to spread the word about pandemic preparedness.
    The archived video of this 57 minute session is now online, and available
    for people to watch.
  13. by   indigo girl
    CDC takes notice of Akron's flu plan

    Organization hopes to use ideas as role model for other communities
    to prepare for pandemic


    Quote from www.ohio.com

    Usually, communities will talk about preparing for a pandemic by
    choosing a gymnasium or civic center that will serve as a make-shift
    hospital ward when hospitals fill up, Levy said. But a plan requires much
    more than that, including arranging for staffing, providing supplies and
    setting ''triggers'' for when the plan should be set in motion.

    Among the ideas in the Akron plan are:

    * Creating a call-in center, which would allow people to stay home
    while getting their flu questions answered.

    * Moving non-flu patients, such as those recovering from heart attacks,
    surgery or childbirth, to long-term-care facilities, so they're not exposed
    to the flu virus.

    * Opening a site that could serve as a hospital for severely ill flu patients,
    to keep them from spreading the virus to other hospital patients.

    * Setting up triage sites away from emergency rooms, to direct patients
    toward the proper care.

    * Using a mobile facility to treat patients.

    * Converting outpatient offices into sites for distributing vaccines and
    (hat tip PFI/pixie)