concern was that Avian Flu or H5N1 could evolve into a virus capable of

Concern was that avian flu or h5n1 could evolve into

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concern was that Avian Flu or H5N1 could evolve into a virus capable of sustained human-to-human transmission. The medical community believes that once an animal flu mutates into a pandemic flu, currently available flu vaccines will not be effective. It is very likely that the only treatment medication available will be anti-virals like Tamiflu that do not prevent infection, but may lessen the symptoms. The amount of available Tamiflu is very limited in comparison to the population that would need it. Once the pandemic flu strain is isolated, a vaccine will be developed; however initial production will take several months and it is likely the initial amount produced will not be enough to cover even those individuals determined to be “Essential Personnel”. Based on a combination of historical evidence and modern computer modeling, pandemic flu is likely to spread across the U.S. in waves, probably starting in a major hub/port city such as Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, Chicago or New York. Multiple waves (periods during which community outbreaks occur across the country) of illness could occur with each wave lasting 6-8 weeks. These waves of infection could continue for a period of 9 months to 2 years, with each successive wave infecting a smaller percentage of the population. The percentage of infected persons will go down with each successive wave because of developed immunity (those people who survived previous waves) and the administration of a vaccine once it is manufactured in sufficient quantities. There is an uncertainty as to the appropriate level of infection control measures (e.g., social distancing, cancellation of mass gatherings, etc.) between waves of infection. B. Assumptions 1. A pandemic influenza will result in the rapid spread or infection throughout the world. 2. The pandemic influenza will occur in multiple waves. 3. Each wave may last from six to eight weeks. 4. The pandemic influenza attack rate will likely be 30% or higher among the University population. Illness rates will likely be higher with school-aged children and middle aged adults (18-40) and the elderly. 5. Of those who become ill with influenza, the hospitalization rate may be as high as 8% and a mortality rate as high as 1%, possibly higher. 6. Some persons will become infected but not develop clinically significant symptoms. Symptoms may not develop until 2-7 days after being infected. 7. The number of ill requiring medical care will overwhelm the local health care system. 8. The number of fatalities will overwhelm the medical examiners’ office, hospital morgues, and funeral homes. 9. The demand for home care and social services will increase dramatically and will not be available.
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10. Vaccines will not be available for 4-6 months following the emergence of a novel strain of influenza.
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire

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