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Baltimore Highlands, MD, United States

Koonin L.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hanfling D.,Inova Health System | Hanfling D.,George Washington University | Hanfling D.,Center for Biosecurity of
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2013

The impact of a severe influenza pandemic could be overwhelming to hospital emergency departments, clinics, and medical offices if large numbers of ill people were to simultaneously seek care. While current planning guidance to reduce surge on hospitals and other medical facilities during a pandemic largely focuses on improving the "supply" of medical care services, attention on reducing "demand" for such services is needed by better matching patient needs with alternative types and sites of care. Based on lessons learned during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners are currently exploring the acceptability and feasibility of using a coordinated network of nurse triage telephone lines during a pandemic to assess the health status of callers, help callers determine the most appropriate site for care (eg, hospital ED, outpatient center, home), disseminate information, provide clinical advice, and provide access to antiviral medications for ill people, if appropriate. As part of this effort, the integration and coordination of poison control centers, existing nurse advice lines, 2-1-1 information lines, and other hotlines are being investigated. Copyright © 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.

Adalja A.A.,Center for Biosecurity of
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2011

Medicine for Policymakers is a Journal column that provides decision makers with brief explanations of the meaning and implications for biosecurity of clinical issues. The articles describe, for a nonmedical audience, hospital practices, medical challenges, healthcare delivery issues, and other topics of current interest. Readers may submit ideas to the column's editor, Amesh A. Adalja, MD, through the Journal's editorial office at jfox@upmc-biosecurity.org. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Russell P.K.,Health-U | Gronvall G.K.,Center for Biosecurity of
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2012

The U.S. government has taken significant steps toward developing and acquiring vaccines, drugs, and other medical countermeasures (MCMs) to protect and treat the population after a biological attack. In contrast to 2001, there is now a procedure for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, license, and stockpile MCMs for civilian use. Another major accomplishment is smallpox preparedness: There is now an adequate supply of vaccine for every person in the U.S., and there is an alternative vaccine meant for immunocompromised people and those with close contact with them. In spite of these and other accomplishments, the U.S. government MCM effort has been criticized by federal advisory committees, National Academy of Sciences reports, a congressional commission, and outside analysts who state that the efforts lack central leadership and accountability and that the pace of progress has been slow. A clear operational strategy for using MCMs, which would guide their development and acquisition, is also lacking. In this article, we review key areas of progress made since 2001 to develop and acquire MCMs, and we summarize what we judge to be the most critical and often mentioned areas where improvements are needed. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Henderson D.A.,Center for Biosecurity of
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2011

The World Health Assembly is scheduled to decide in May 2011 whether the 2 known remaining stockpiles of smallpox virus are to be destroyed or retained. In preparation for this, a WHO-appointed committee undertook a comprehensive review of the status of smallpox virus research from 1999 to 2010. It concluded that, considering the nature of the studies already completed with respect to vaccine, drugs, and diagnostics, there was no reason to retain live smallpox virus except to satisfy restrictive regulatory requirements. The committee advised that researchers and regulators define alternative models for testing the vaccines and drugs. Apart from other considerations, the costs of new products are significant and important. These include prospective expenditures required for the development, manufacture, testing, and storage of new products. This commentary provides approximations of these costs and the incremental contribution that a newly developed vaccine might make in terms of public health security. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Schoch-Spana M.,Center for Biosecurity of
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2012

Over the past decade, assumptions have been made and unmade about what officials can expect of average people confronting a bioterrorist attack or other major health incident. The reframing of the public in national discourse and doctrine from a panic-stricken mob to a band of hearty survivors is a positive development and more realistic in terms of the empirical record. So, too, is the realization that citizen contributions to national health security encompass not only individual preparedness and volunteerism but also mutual aid and collective deliberation of the tough choices posed by health disasters. In projecting what needs to occur over the next 10 years in biosecurity, 2 priority challenges emerge: retaining the lesson that a public prone to panic, social disorder, and civil unrest is a myth, and building an infrastructure to bolster the public's full contributions to health emergency management. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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