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Pandemic influenza : domestic preparedness efforts

Author: Sarah A Lister; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 2005.
Series: CRS report for Congress, RL33145.
Edition/Format:   book_largeprint : Document : National government publication   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In 1997, a new avian influenza virus (H5N1 avian flu) emerged in Hong Kong, killing six people. This was the first time that an avian influenza virus was shown to be transmitted directly from birds to humans. The virus persisted in the region, and has since spread to a number of Asian and European countries, where it has infected more than 120 people, killing more than 60. The severity of this strain is similar to  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Computer File, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Sarah A Lister; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
OCLC Number: 62270398
Notes: Title from title screen viewed on November 14, 2005.
"Order Code RL33145."
"November 10, 2005."
Updates can be received through CRS Web.
Description: 36 pages.
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Acrobate Reader.
Series Title: CRS report for Congress, RL33145.
Responsibility: Sarah A. Lister.

Abstract:

"In 1997, a new avian influenza virus (H5N1 avian flu) emerged in Hong Kong, killing six people. This was the first time that an avian influenza virus was shown to be transmitted directly from birds to humans. The virus persisted in the region, and has since spread to a number of Asian and European countries, where it has infected more than 120 people, killing more than 60. The severity of this strain is similar to that of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu, which caused a global pandemic that may have killed up to 2 (percent)% of the world's population. Though influenza pandemics occur with some regularity, and the United States has been involved in specific planning efforts since the early 1990s, the H5N1 situation has created a sense of urgency among the world's public health officials. Global pandemic preparedness and response efforts are coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a draft pandemic flu preparedness and response plan in August 2004, and a final plan in November 2005. President Bush announced a national strategy to coordinate pandemic preparedness and response activities across federal agencies. Domestic response activities will be carried out under the broad, all-hazards blueprint for a coordinated federal, state and local response laid out in the National Response Plan, released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2004. Even in light of the plans discussed above, if a flu pandemic were to occur in the next several years, the U.S. response would be affected by the limited availability of a vaccine (the best preventive measure for flu), as well as by limited availability of certain drugs used to treat severe flu infections, and by the general lack of surge capacity within our healthcare system. The U.S. healthcare system is largely private, while the public health system is largely based in state, rather than federal, authority. This structure creates numerous challenges in assuring the needed response capacity, and coordinating the various response elements. Planning is further complicated by the fact that while periodic influenza pandemics have been seen over the years, their timing and severity have been unpredictable. This report will be updated to reflect changing circumstances." p. 2.

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