Disaster/Pandemic preparedness - page 30

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
    World Bank Says Flu Pandemic May Cost World Economy Up to $3 Trillion (Update2)


    Quote from www.flutrackers.com

    A slump in tourism, transportation and retail sales, as well as workplace
    absenteeism and lower productivity caused by a ``severe'' outbreak, may
    cut global gross domestic product by 4.8 percent, the Washington-based
    bank said in a report obtained by Bloomberg News. Economic modeling by
    the bank in June 2006 estimated GDP would drop by 3.1 percent, or about
    $2 trillion. Measures to avoid infection would generate most of the
    said the report, which used simulations to underline the
    importance of global preparations for a pandemic sparked by bird flu.
    Human cases of the H5N1 avian-influenza strain have fallen by half this
    year as controls of outbreaks in poultry improve.

    ``Even with such efforts, an eventual human pandemic at some unknown
    point in the future is virtually inevitable
    ,'' Andrew Burns, Dominique
    van der Mensbrugghe and Hans Timmer, economists at the bank, wrote
    in the report.

    ``The potential cost of a human pandemic is massive compared with the
    quite modest sums required to ensure pandemic preparedness,'' said
    David Nabarro, UN senior coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza,
    in a telephone interview from Geneva today. The funds ``must be coupled
    with political commitment to ensure that all parts of government, civil
    society and the private sector are prepared to keep functioning in the
    event of a pandemic.''

    Such a contagion would start when a novel influenza A-type virus, to which
    almost no one has natural immunity, emerges and begins spreading. Experts
    believe that the so-called 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which may have killed
    as many as 50 million people, began when an avian flu virus jumped to people.

    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 18, '08
  2. by   indigo girl
    Lloyds of London on the Pandemic Threat


    Everyone knows who Lloyds of London is, right?

    Quote from www.lloyds.com

    The Emerging Risks team is part of the Franchise Performance
    Directorate at Lloyd's. We define an emerging risk as an issue that is
    perceived to be potentially significant but which may not be fully
    understood or allowed for in insurance terms and conditions, pricing,
    reserving or capital setting. Our objective is to ensure that the Lloyd's
    market is aware of potentially significant emerging risks so that it can
    decide on an appropriate response to them.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com


    1. A PANDEMIC IS INEVITABLE With historic recurrence rates of 30-50
    years it is prudent to assume that a pandemic will occur at some point in
    the future. The severity of such events is highly variable; some estimates
    suggest the most severe to date, in 1918, killed up to 100m. Many pandemics
    affect the old and young; but some (including the 1918 event) can,
    perversely, affect the most healthy.

    2. 1918 MAY NOT BE THE WORST CASE It is certainly true that the 1918
    event was extreme relative to other pandemics in history. However many
    published "worst case" scenarios take 1918 as a base. There is a danger
    that we over optimise to this one scenario. There are other forms of
    pandemic than influenza, some have higher case mortality. Pandemic
    preparedness should consider a range of scenarios to ensure plans are
    appropriately flexible.

    3. ECONOMIC IMPACTS MAY BE SIGNIFICANT A repeat of the 1918 event
    is expected to cause a global recession with estimated impacts ranging
    from 1% to 10% of global GDP. Most industries will be affected, some more
    than others. In particular, industries with significant face to face contact will
    be impacted significantly. Insurers investment assets may be affected
    depending on the mix held. Wider economic and social effects may lead to
    secondary forms of loss for insurers.

    business such as, life and health it is clear that the impact will be
    adverse. For other classes of business it is less clear but many forms
    of liability covers including general liability, D&O, Medical Malpractice
    as well as specific products offering business interruption and event
    cancellation could be triggered. Inner limits for Pandemic losses
    (vertical and sideways) may help to contain exposure.

    5. SECONDARY IMPACTS MAY OCCUR Events causing significant global
    and societal turmoil can give rise to considerable secondary impacts. It
    is far from clear which of these, if any, would occur; but for resilience
    planning purposes it is worth considering them. For example the
    lawlessness experienced in New Orleans after Katrina could be repeated
    if police services are affected. Traditional claims such as fire loss may be
    exacerbated if fire emergency services have depleted efficiency and if
    tradesmen are in short supply.
  3. by   indigo girl
    Video: Pandemic Prevention - Bird Flu and Emerging Diseases

    Don't understand why all the concern about bird flu? Check out one of
    the following. Dr. Greger does an excellent job of simplifying for a lay
    audience in the 11 minute version. This is serious stuff. Hoping it
    won't happen is not going to help, but preparation will.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Dr Michael Greger is is a physician, an author, and a much sought after
    public speaker on a variety of public health issues. Dr. Greger has
    written three books, including Bird Flu: A Virus Of Our Own Hatching -
    which is available to read for free online at his website.

    He is also the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The
    Humane Society of the United States.

    His one hour lecture:


    The eleven minute version:

    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 21, '08
  4. by   indigo girl
    A history lesson from the Reveres at Effect Measure, with permission:

    Bird flu reminder

    Quote from scienceblogs.com

    With the advent of flu season the perennial question of the "next
    pandemic" is again making an appearance, although I think it is more
    of a cameo appearance than a substantive one. WHO, CDC and
    numerous state health departments are warning citizens about
    seasonal flu, still a major public health problem, and the continuing
    threat of emergence of a novel flu virus to which the earth's population
    has little or no immunity. There is something both plaintive and formulaic
    about these warnings. Seasonal flu is with us every flu season (hence
    its name) and the feared pandemic of bird flu has yet to materialize.
    Meanwhile there are great many "important things" claiming our
    attention, not the least of which is a global financial system in meltdown.
    People have been warning of a potential financial crisis for years, but it
    didn't happen. Until now.

    So what about a bird flu pandemic? It is just as hard to predict as a
    financial crisis. The world of public health has been trying to prepare for
    the possibility of a pandemic with the most likely culprit, the H5N1
    subtype of influenza A. H5N1 is endemic in poultry and avian wildlife in
    many countries. It infects humans infrequently (one would have to say
    rarely, given the prevalence of exposure) but when it does it is highly
    virulent. Case fatality ratios are well over 50%. But so far it is not easily
    transmissible between people, the last step to making this a truly
    horrific pathogen. Most countries and most states in the US now have
    some kind of pandemic plan but these are mainly on paper. There is an
    old military adage that most battle plans don't survive the first
    engagement with the enemy, and this is certain to be true with most
    pandemic plans as well. The geographic spread of bird flu to poultry
    and humans has stabilized, but that is small comfort for flu scientists.
    There are billions upon billions of viruses replicating out there in one
    kind of host or another, and each replication is an experiment in finding
    a recipe for efficient replication in a new host. The number of possible
    combinations is unimaginably large so it is not a given, even with all
    that natural experimentation going on, that a deadly recipe is
    inevitable or imminent.

    Human cases of H5N1 first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997. A heroic
    effort on the part of Hong Kong public health and veterinary
    authorities involved culling nearly every poultry animal on the island
    and the world appeared to have dodged a bullet. But out of nowhere
    H5N1 reappeared in poultry in 2003 and the incidental human cases
    started appearing along with it. Where it was in the 6 years prior to
    that we don't know. But it wasn't gone. The relative quiet (relative to
    the several years preceding) shouldn't be interpreted as a war that
    as been won. We have no idea what controls the dynamics of this

    Ninety years ago, just about this time, the 1918 pandemic's ferocious
    second wave was reaching its peak. It seemed to come out of nowhere
    (although retrospectively it was visible the previous spring) and fell like
    a giant hammer. It's a reminder that things can turn on a dime in this
    world. I don't expect this will get anyone's attention. There is too much
    noise out there. But it doesn't hurt to remind everyone.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
    "The Editors of Effect Measure are senior public health scientists and
    practitioners. Paul Revere was a member of the first local Board of
    Health in the United States (Boston, 1799). The Editors sign their posts
    "Revere" to recognize the public service of a professional forerunner
    better known for other things."
  5. by   indigo girl
    Florida Testing of Wild Bird Kills


    Part of the national surveillance for avian influenza involves the testing of
    migratory birds which we might expect in Alaska, but testing is occurring
    even as far south as Florida.

    Quote from www.palmbeachpost.com

    As the migratory game bird season gets under way, wildlife officials announced
    this week that they will begin their annual testing of bagged game birds for
    the avian flu. Participation is voluntary, and biologists will test the birds'
    respiratory and digestive tracks at several duck-hunting hot spots throughout
    the state.

    The sampling is part of an international surveillance effort to determine
    whether migratory birds carry the deadly flu. Last year, more than
    65,000 samples were collected nationwide, including more than 1,200
    samples in Florida. None of the samples tested positive. It is "extremely
    unlikely" that hunters could be infected by wild birds in Florida.
  6. by   indigo girl
    Africa: International Partners Work to Prevent Next Pandemic


    Quote from allafrica.com/stories

    Most emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses-animal diseases that
    can be transmitted to people-and most zoonoses arise from wildlife,
    so anywhere in the world that wild animals and people interact, a new
    disease can enter the human population.

    Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the company behind the world's
    most popular Internet search engine, is supporting efforts to identify hot
    spots where such diseases are most likely to emerge and to detect
    new pathogens circulating in animals and people.

    An initial $14.8 million, announced October 21 as part of the Predict
    and Prevent initiative, is going to six partnerships working in Africa
    and Southeast Asia. Their shared goal is to help nations and global
    organizations for animal and human health learn about and respond
    to outbreaks before they become global crises.

    The work is accomplished through a global network of partners --
    collaborators and field teams, and laboratories where increasingly
    advanced techniques allow researchers to understand and discover
    disease agents in completely new ways.

    "We think about where in the world do we believe there to be
    important viruses -- what are the hot spots," Wolfe said. "Then we
    charge into the hot spots and focus our energy on the interface
    between humans and animals -- hunters, maybe people working
    in wet markets, wildlife veterinarians -- people in close contact with
    animals. Then we sample at that interface -- what's in the animals,
    what's in the humans, and what's jumping from the animals into
    the humans."

    "We are still at the very beginnings of the science of pandemic
    prevention, but that doesn't mean that we are without skills or
    facilities," Wolfe said.
    (hat tip pixie/PFI)

    A Disaster Simulator In A Deck Of Cards

    I wonder if this game comes in an English language version.

    http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2008/1.../> cards.html

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    "Suppose you're a nurse. The hospital you're working for has decided
    to accept avian flu patients. You are worried you could become
    infected and subsequently infect your child, who goes to a daycare
    center, with the flu. Do you think it's appropriate to make up an excuse
    to miss work in this situation?"

    This is one of the situations found in an increasingly popular card
    game called "Crossroads" in which participants exchange views about
    serious situations players could find themselves in.

    The game was first devised for disaster prevention purposes after the
    1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake. Since then, many versions of the game
    have been developed, including games on subjects such as bird flu and
    food safety.
    Japan Donates Tamiflu And PPE's To The Philippines

    It's a mystery why H5N1 has not been reported in the Philippines yet.
    Japan has been very generous in helping them to prepare.


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Today, in a press release posted on the Japanese Embassy website, it
    was announced that Japan would donate 75,000 courses of Tamiflu, and
    35,000 sets of PPE's (Personal Protective Equipment) to the Philippines.

    Japan has made a sizable commitment to the member nations of
    ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to provide them with
    Tamiflu and PPE's in anticipation of a possible pandemic.

    Their donations are eventually expected to reach 1 million courses
    of Tamiflu and 700,000 sets of PPEs.
  7. by   indigo girl
    Very recent videos on Pandemic Influenza

    Thank you to Florida Medic of Avian Flu Diary for making us
    aware of these, and to everyone involved making this information


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Secretary Leavitt’s Discussion on Pandemic Planning and Preparedness
    (October 29, 2008) – 72 minutes

    Secretary Mike Leavitt
    Dr. Bill Raub, Science Advisor to Secretary Leavitt
    Dr. Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota
    Maggie Fox, Reuters


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    The CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies) held a meeting on
    November 13th, where Dr. David Nabarro and U.S. State Department
    Special Representative John Lange presented the latest information on
    the Pandemic threat.

    We are fortunate to have the 90 minute video of this meeting available
    for viewing.
  8. by   indigo girl
    UK: Researchers Plan `Big Brother' Flu Experiment


    How does flu spread? There is still some conjecture about this.
    This experiment is designed to watch a select group of people 24 hour/
    day to find out exactly how they infect each other, what works
    to prevent it, and what does not. This is very basic and important
    research that will be worth far more than the cost of the experiment,
    and should have far reaching application world wide.

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    The aim is to gather information on how and how easily they contract
    flu from each other and the effectiveness of hand washing, face masks
    and keeping their distance to prevent infection.

    Jonathan Van-Tam, professor of health protection at the University of
    Nottingham, who is helping develop the trials, said the studies reflected
    how much remains unknown about flu transmission, nearly two centuries
    after medical journals began discussing the issue.

    "Transmission is poorly understood and hotly debated," he said.
    Disagreement remained on such as whether flu was contracted by
    airborne particles or via surfaces touched by hand.

  9. by   indigo girl
    Pregnancy and Pandemic Influenza


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    Today the UK government announced that they had obtained enough of
    the antiviral drug Relenza to treat all pregnant woman in a `reasonable
    worst-case' pandemic situation, which they believe would not affect more
    than 50% of the population.

    Less well known than its competitor Tamiflu, Relenza is an inhaled
    powder and is thought less likely to cross the placenta and adversely
    affect the fetus

    Pregnancy is considered to be a significant risk factor during an
    influenza pandemic.
    Researchers know that during the 1918
    pandemic an abnormally high number of pregnant women died from
    the influenza, and those that survived endured a very high miscarriage

    Pregnant women also appear to be more susceptible to influenza
    than non-pregnant women,
    although the exact reasons for this
    aren't understood.

    It is believed, however, that the normal protections of a woman's
    immune system are temporarily altered to allow her to carry what is
    essentially a foreign body- a fetus - without rejection.

  10. by   indigo girl
    Update on Personal Protective Equipment


    I was fitted for the N95 mask last April during my orientation. I have
    not seen one since.

    This essay analyzing two different studies does not bode well for those
    of us that do not work regularly with the N95 respirators. Being able to
    achieve a good seal with my mask is rather important to me as I will
    probably be working during a pandemic since I'm not a young nurse
    with children at home to be concerned about.

    Quote from www.flutrackers.com

    Participants were then recalled at 3 and 14 months after the initial
    exercises, and significant failure rates were observed at both intervals,
    suggesting the need for continued use of the masks for competency in
    deployment. This is supported by the finding that the skills of nurses on
    a respiratory ward, where airborne isolation precautions are more
    common, were not severely compromised over time.1

    In their discussion of the study, the authors note that 48% of HCWs will
    be sufficiently protected with the deployment of 8210 respirators,
    without training, and that instruction alone will increase the rate to

  11. by   indigo girl
    I did not open this thread though I have maintained it. I will no longer be posting here but the information will be continued at
    this link: