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Health Security

Mitch Stripling, Colin Stimmler, Marisa Raphael, Oxiris Barbot
In late 2017 and early 2018, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene deployed multiple teams to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to support public health in those territories. This article is a description of how those teams were conceived, deployed, supported, and reintegrated into the agency. This was an unprecedented mission for our agency, and what follows is a reflection on what worked and what didn't work for us. It is our hope that other jurisdictions can use this information to organize and execute similar missions in the future, and that collectively we can continue to advance the field of public health preparedness and response...
October 6, 2018: Health Security
Leslie Z Sokolow, Anita Patel, Lisa M Koonin, Samuel B Graitcer
In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to develop and conduct the Scripted Surge Pharmacy Pandemic Exercise to assess the capacity of pharmacies to administer vaccines and dispense medications during a severe influenza pandemic and to evaluate their various approaches to this activity. A mass merchant pharmacy and a supermarket pharmacy were recruited in 2 different states. At each pharmacy, 2 consecutive 90-minute exercise runs were completed in which actors, simulating patients, presented themselves to the pharmacy counter and requested a vaccine and/or prescription(s)...
July 2018: Health Security
Mark Misener, David T Starr, Allison J Scaccia, Vibhuti Arya
Individuals exposed to spores of B. anthracis must take a course of antibiotics as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent inhalation anthrax. During an anthrax event, public health authorities are responsible for conducting dispensing operations to offer PEP to exposed individuals. Jurisdictions have developed antibiotic PEP screening algorithms to determine which antibiotic is appropriate for each individual. Variability exists with regard to screening questions and dispensing decisions based on responses to those questions...
July 2018: Health Security
Celia Quinn, Eugenie Poirot, Afua Sanders Kim, Aishwarya L Viswanath, Sneha N Patel, David M Abramson, Rachael Piltch-Loeb
The New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) used multiple methods to provide guidance to healthcare providers on the management and prevention of Zika virus disease during 2016. To better understand providers' use of information sources related to emerging disease threats, this article describes reported use of information sources by NYC providers to stay informed about Zika, and patterns observed by provider type and practice setting. We sent an electronic survey to all email addresses in the Provider Data Warehouse, a system used to maintain information from state and local health department sources on all prescribing healthcare providers in NYC...
July 2018: Health Security
Lindsay R Gabbert, Justin D Smith, John G Neilan, Geoffrey S Ferman, Max V Rasmussen
Validated procedures for decontamination of laboratory surfaces and equipment are essential to biosafety and biorisk programs at high-containment laboratories. Each high-containment laboratory contains a unique combination of surfaces, procedures, and biological agents that require decontamination methods tailored to specific facility practices. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) is a high-containment laboratory operating multiple biosafety level (BSL)-3, ABSL-3, and BSL-3 Ag spaces. The PIADC facility requires the use of federally issued smart cards, called personal identity verification (PIV) cards, to access information technology (IT) networks both outside and within the high-containment laboratory...
July 2018: Health Security
Elizabeth A Armstrong-Mensah, Serigne M Ndiaye
In today's interconnected world, infectious diseases can spread rapidly within and between countries. The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone underscored the inability of countries with limited capacities and weak public health systems to respond effectively to outbreaks. To mitigate future health threats, nations and international organizations launched the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to accelerate compliance with the WHO's International Health Regulations, so as to enhance global protection from infectious disease threats...
July 2018: Health Security
Elena H Kwon, Ronald B Reisler, Anthony P Cardile, Theodore J Cieslak, Michael J D'Onofrio, Angela L Hewlett, Karen A Martins, Chi Ritchie, Mark G Kortepeter
Differentiating between illness caused by community-acquired respiratory pathogens versus infection by biothreat agents is a challenge. This review highlights respiratory and clinical features of category A and B potential biothreat agents that have respiratory features as their primary presenting signs and symptoms. Recent world events make such a reminder that the possibility of rare diseases and unlikely events can occur timely for clinicians, policymakers, and public health authorities. Despite some distinguishing features, nothing can replace good clinical acumen and a strong index of suspicion in the diagnosis of uncommon infectious diseases...
July 2018: Health Security
Luis Lowe, Stephanie A Dopson, Alicia P Budd
Laboratory and epidemiologic data are vital to identify a novel influenza A virus and inform the public health response, whether it be to a localized outbreak or pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment (PIRA) to evaluate the state of the nation's preparedness for the next influenza pandemic. Representatives from all 62 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) awardee jurisdictions were requested to complete the web-based questionnaire in July 2015...
July 2018: Health Security
Matthew W Seeger, Laura E Pechta, Simani M Price, Keri M Lubell, Dale A Rose, Saloni Sapru, Melanie C Chansky, Belinda J Smith
Public health threats, such as emerging infectious diseases, terrorism, environmental catastrophes, and natural disasters, all require effective communication. Emergency risk communication is a critical component of public health emergency planning and response. It is a complex process involving a variety of constructs that interact in dynamic ways over time. While emergency risk communication is generally recognized as an important tool for risk management and emergency response, the specific elements, processes, and outcomes are not well described and have not been systematically assessed...
May 2018: Health Security
Rebecca Lis, Aaron T Resnick
Infectious disease response, particularly high-consequence acute infectious disease and special pathogen response, requires the coordination of numerous public and private entities to ensure the safety and appropriate care for patients, healthcare and EMS staff, and the public. The Northwest Healthcare Response Network, an independent 501(c)(3) healthcare coalition, has partnered with the local health departments in the Puget Sound area of Washington State to develop a communication and decision-making structure to support coordinated information sharing, patient care, patient transportation, laboratory testing, contact monitoring, and healthcare and EMS staff safety in events involving suspected or diagnosed acute infectious disease patients...
May 2018: Health Security
Rachael Piltch-Loeb, Alexis A Merdjanoff, David M Abramson
Emerging disease threats like Zika pose a risk to naïve populations. In comparison to chronic diseases, there is scientific uncertainty surrounding emerging diseases because of the lack of medical and public health information available as the threat emerges. Further complicating this are the multiple, diverse channels through which people get information. This article used bivariate and multivariate analysis to first describe the breadth of information sources individuals accessed about the Zika virus, and then describe individuals' primary sources of information for Zika using a nationally representative pooled cross-sectional data set collected at 3 time points in 2016 (N = 3,698)...
May 2018: Health Security
Thomas J Hipper, Renee Davis, Philip M Massey, Renee M Turchi, Keri M Lubell, Laura E Pechta, Dale A Rose, Amy Wolkin, Lisa Briseño, Jessica L Franks, Esther Chernak
Families with children who have access and mobility challenges, chronic illness, or intellectual or developmental disabilities require targeted messages before, during, and after disasters to ensure that they understand risks to their children's health and can take measures to avoid harm and build resilience. A scoping review was conducted to assess current evidence for optimal ways to address the disaster information needs and communication preferences of families with children and youth with special healthcare needs...
May 2018: Health Security
Mark L Maiello, Jessica Cole, Elaine Vernetti
From the Field is a semi-regular column that explores what it means to be a local health professional on the front lines of an emergency. Typically, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) members share their stories of preparing for and responding to disasters, epidemics, and other major health issues. This month's column features a submission from the New York City health department that describes their experience in setting up a radiological advisory committee. Through exploring the analysis of the challenges faced and the solutions developed, readers can learn how these public health champions keep their communities safe even in extreme situations...
May 2018: Health Security
Yotam Ophir
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) framework has been used by the organization during recent outbreaks of infectious diseases. However, the dissemination of the organization's crisis messages depends largely on mass media coverage. This study analyzed 5,006 articles from leading American newspapers covering 3 epidemics: H1N1, Ebola, and Zika. Using a mixed method of automated and manual content analysis, it identified 3 distinct themes used to cover the diseases: pandemic, scientific, and social...
May 2018: Health Security
Scott Deitchman, Cham E Dallas, Frederick Burkle
On January 13, 2018, Hawaii experienced an erroneous alert that falsely warned of an imminent ballistic missile strike. Rather than focus on the inconvenience caused by the false alert, we used reporting of the event to identify the missing elements that would characterize a system that could save lives by alerting and informing the public in a nuclear detonation. These include warnings that contain essential information rather than directing recipients to secondary sources; a system that issues alerts directly from federal agencies that will have the earliest warning; a robust multimodal alerting system that can deliver messages before and after the detonation; and swift activation of federal agencies immediately upon warning...
May 2018: Health Security
David G Drewry, Lauren M Sauer, Kathryn Shaw-Saliba, Jennifer Therkorn, Kaitlin Rainwater-Lovett, Thomas Pilholski, Brian T Garibaldi
The Johns Hopkins Hospital created a biocontainment unit (BCU) to care for patients with highly infectious diseases while assuring healthcare worker safety. Research to date for BCU protocols and practices are based on case reports and lessons learned from patient care and exercises. This study seeks to be the first to explore the influences of healthcare worker movement and personal protective equipment (PPE) doffing on the transport of simulant pathogen particles in a BCU. A cough device released 1 μm fluorescent polystyrene beads (PSLs) in the patient room...
March 2018: Health Security
Rex D Archer, Abby Edsall
From the Field is a semi-regular column that explores what it means to be a local health professional on the front lines of an emergency. Typically, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) members share their stories of preparing for and responding to disasters, epidemics, and other major health issues. Through exploring the analysis of the challenges faced and the solutions developed, readers can learn how these public health champions keep their communities safe even in extreme situations...
March 2018: Health Security
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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Health Security
Gene G Olinger, Kenneth B Yeh
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Health Security
Jennifer Snow, James Giordano
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Health Security
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