week2article - Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense...

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Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science Volume 5, Number 4, 2007 © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2007.0029 P ANDEMIC P OLICY AND P LANNING C ONSIDERATIONS FOR U NIVERSITIES : F INDINGS FROM A T ABLETOP E XERCISE Randal Beaton, Andy Stergachis, John Thompson, Carl Osaki, Clark Johnson, Steven J. Charvat, and Nicola Marsden-Haug The potential for a novel influenza virus to cause a pandemic represents a significant threat to global health. Planning for pandemic flu, as compared to planning for other types of hazards, presents some unique challenges to businesses, commu- nities, and education institutions. To identify and address the challenges that may be faced by major metropolitan univer- sities during a flu pandemic, a tabletop exercise was developed, offered, and evaluated. Its purpose was to assess existing University of Washington (UW) plans and policies for responding to an influenza pandemic. On May 31, 2006, more than 50 participants, including UW administrators and unit leaders and a number of key external partners, participated in a tabletop exercise designed to simulate all phases of an influenza pandemic. This exercise revealed existing gaps in univer- sity pandemic influenza plans and policies, including issues related to isolation and quarantine, continuity of operations, disaster mental health services, integration of volunteers into a disaster response, tracking travel of university students and personnel, communication problems, and ways to meet the needs of resident and foreign students and faculty during an outbreak. Policy and planning recommendations are offered that address each of these challenges faced by UW as well as other major research universities and colleges. 1 W ITH THE H5N1 avian influenza virus circulating among birds on three continents and the threat of a possible flu pandemic looming, the U.S. Department of communities, businesses, and citizens to undertake pan- demic preparedness planning. 1 As part of overall HHS planning guidance, pandemic influenza preparedness checklists have been developed and made available for col- leges and universities. 2 This guidance has been promul- gated, in part, because of the unique features of university and college institutions, as well as their location and func- tion within the larger community, which together present a host of policy, planning, and preparedness challenges. For a major metropolitan research university, these challenges in- clude, but are not limited to, resident and foreign student and faculty populations who may rely on university hous- ing and food and healthcare services; the need for contin- gency plans to maintain multimillion dollar research labo- Adjunct Research Professor, Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine; Andy Stergachis, PhD, RPh, is Pro-
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2010 for the course UCONJ 445 taught by Professor Beaton during the Winter '10 term at University of Washington.

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week2article - Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense...

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