Public health worker shortage could imperil terrorism preparedness

first_imgJan 14, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) says the present is an excellent time for states to prepare for the next influenza pandemic and has issued a report to help show the way.Although 47 states are working on or have completed draft plans for coping with a “flu” pandemic, the United States is not prepared for a event like the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed at least 550,000 Americans, according to the ASTHO document.Now is the right time to prepare, because a pandemic is inevitable and because federal grants for public health infrastructure and planning have greatly increased in response to terrorism worries, according to ASTHO. The group’s recently published report is titled “Preparedness Planning for State Health Officials: Nature’s Terrorist Attack: Pandemic Influenza.”The report says an influenza pandemic may cause far more harm than a bioterrorist attack: an estimated 89,000 to 207,000 deaths, 314,000 to 734,000 hospitalizations, 18 million to 42 million medical visits, and 20 million to 47 million additional illness cases. State health officers must take the lead in planning because, in a pandemic, the public, governor, and legislature will look to them for “significant leadership to mobilize and sustain private and public healthcare resources.”The public health resources needed to cope with bioterrorism overlap substantially with those needed to deal with a flu pandemic, the report states. “The overlap demonstrates why state health officials have an unprecedented opportunity, using their bioterrorism assessments and plans as scaffolding, to help create strategies that will improve their states’ response to future pandemics.”Pandemics occur when a wholly new subtype of influenza A virus emerges, the document explains. “There is no way to predict when the next pandemic will occur, but most experts agree that it will happen.” After the 1918 Spanish flu, pandemics occurred in 1957 and 1968, causing a total of 104,000 deaths.When a pandemic comes, it will probably bring two waves of cases, separated by between 3 and 9 months, the report says. Thus health officials should be prepared for a pandemic period lasting longer than a year.The United States has a National Pandemic Influenza Plan prepared by agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services, the report says, but ASTHO does not comment on the adequacy of that plan. In addition, 12 states have completed draft preparedness plans, and another 35 states are working on such plans, ASTHO reports. Some public health experts say those plans identify the major issues in a pandemic but don’t spell out specific steps for responding to such an event, says the report.The likelihood of vaccine shortages is a key reason for each state to have its own plan, according to ASTHO. Because it will take an estimated 6 to 8 months to produce an effective vaccine, there will probably be severe shortages or even a total lack of vaccine in the early stages of a pandemic.Consequently, “There is a need to identify priority groups (i.e. high risk individuals, health care workers, law enforcement) that should first receive the influenza vaccine,” the document says. “Although this has been discussed at the national level, there is no definitive guidance that identifies the priority groups. The CDC Pandemic Influenza Planning Guide for State and Local Officials offers a default list for use in planning activities until decisions are finalized.”The report notes that states may want to link their pandemic flu vaccination plans with their smallpox vaccination plans, which were developed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines last September.Other issues discussed in the document include the use of antiviral drugs, quarantine and containment, laboratory protocols, provider and workforce shortages, use of volunteers, facility and equipment needs, and communication with the public. The report includes detailed checklists regarding legal and policy issues, authority, vaccination/antivirals, surge capacity; communications and education, and laboratory surveillance.The ASTHO report was funded by the CDC and researched and written by Lara Misegades, MS, ASTHO’s senior analyst for infectious disease policy.See also:Full text of report on the ASTHO sitehttp://www.astho.org/Programs/Infectious-Disease/Emerging-Infectious-Diseases/Pan-ASTHO-Pandemic-Influenza-2002/last_img read more

Dembélé operates today and Quique Setién expects the nine

first_imgThe BarçaIn addition, you are required to wait for the intervention and its official result to confirm that absence of Dembélé will reach five months. This will ensure the signing of a LaLiga striker who, at this time, is still an unknown. Discarded by the Angel club, and with the doubt of what bureaucratic efforts the club can do, the signing also presents a debate. Ousmane I trembled traveled yesterday to Finland. This morning goes through the prestigious hands of Doctor Lasse Lampainen, which will intervene in a complete break of the proximal tendon of the right leg. A shocking case, since Dembélé was operated now three years ago from the same injury in the other limb, the left, after that senseless heel in Getafe that was reproached by Valverde himself. his medical picture, however much Barca becomes the optimist, it is absolutely worrying. A stream of criticism believes that should not afford a signing-patch. Not only because of the experience with Boateng and the damage it generated in terms of image. Also for the true utility it can have in the game of Barça. Another sector considers incorporation essential after casualties of Suárez and Dembélé. Be of the level that is. Lucas Pérez, Loren, Willlian José wait and send the secrecylast_img read more

Doors to open at shut gym?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ACTON – A bill making its way through Sacramento is aimed at opening the doors to Vasquez High School’s gym that’s been closed for about two years. The rented facility once housed P.E. classes, basketball practices and other everyday activities, but the games came to an end after about five years, because the temporary building wasn’t designed to be used that long. It sits locked and beyond the touch of students and teachers while the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District waits for the state to authorize its use again. The proposal sponsored by Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, would allow the school to use the facility for everyday use again while the inspection process continues. She hopes the gym will open by the start of the next school year. “We really desperately hope we get the gym open. It’s more than just a gym. It’s an assembly room. A mini hall. A place where kids can go in inclement weather. We can have many activities there,” said Principal Martin Young. With the gym closed, P.E. class usually takes place outside, with students using the football and baseball fields, basketball courts and sand courts for exercise. The school also has a weight room where students work out. Meanwhile, basketball and volleyball teams practice on courts inside High Desert School. Although the high school can play host to volleyball games there, they can’t do the same for basketball because the court isn’t regulation-size. As a result, the basketball team hasn’t had a home game for about two years, said Buck Weber, assistant principal. Weber said having the gym open again would bring more activities for students. “On a day-to-day basis, it opens up a slew of opportunities to do during P.E.,” he said. Two athletic groups outside of the district currently use the gym for practice and have their own insurance, said Buck Weber, assistant principal. But the district’s insurance won’t cover Vasquez High School students without a permit to use the gym. The district has been struggling with ways to finance a permanent facility for the Vasquez High School campus. It recently applied for about $13 million in hardship funding from the state to help pay for costs of a new school. But the district learned that it will likely have to pass a bond before the state will step in with assistance. Voters in the past have struck down three school construction bonds. A large retired population in the community has rallied hard against the bonds in the past. But Runner said the faces of Acton and Agua Dulce are changing and that there are new people moving in who could have a different way of thinking about the bonds. “I think the population is really changing, and they need to look out for what’s happening to the students,” she said. Sue Doyle, (661)257-5254 sue.doyle@dailynews.comlast_img read more