Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"

  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold

    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".

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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia

    Pandemic Influenza

    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

    Seasonal Influenza

    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.

    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."

    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain

    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

    Pandemic Severity Index

    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at

    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.

    View blog top tags
  • standingfirm

Information Pathways – Telling the People

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 28, 2008

The beauty of gathering news and information from the internet is that we can customize and individualize what we want to learn about. Many people concern themselves with the immediate events that are ongoing and have an impact, today, on their lives.

National Geographic has a section for teaching children in grades K-12 about pandemics.

Check out this site where we can listen to the audio files of National Geographics
Worldwide Bird Flu Pandemic:An episode of Worldwide Bird Flu Pandemic

On Monday June 27th, 2008 National Geographic will be airing “End Day”

Imagine waking up to the last day on Earth…Inspired by the predictions of scientists, End Day creates apocalyptic scenarios that go beyond reality. In a single hour, explore five different fictional disasters, from a giant tsunami hitting New York to a deadly meteorite strike on Berlin.

More hype or is there something to this? I cannot speak of these other disasters and their likelihood of impacting us in the near future. But I do know something about pandemics. This is the description of the “Deadly Virus” segment.

Deadly Virus

Increasing talk of an influenza virus spreading in a worldwide pandemic has scientists, policy makers, and citizens on edge. Do we have reason to be concerned? Yes, though perhaps not as much as you might think after watching End Day.

A pandemic occurs when an influenza virus mutates to a strain against which humans have no immunity, and several simultaneous outbreaks occur worldwide. Pandemics seem to defy predictions regarding timing, strains, severity and worldwide impact.

Three pandemics have occurred in the past century, with the worst being the Spanish Flu from 1918 to 1919, which infected over 200 million people and killed an estimated 50 to 100 million worldwide. This same virus would be even more deadly today, with increased population levels and globalized travel networks.

But could a virus kill 200,000 people in less than 24 hours, as in End Day? Not likely. As scientists study past pandemics and more recent epidemics (outbreaks that didn’t reach pandemic level), conditions leading to pandemics are becoming more widely recognized and preparation plans are being developed.

Pandemics also emerge in waves. The initial wave, like the one we see in End Day, would be the least deadly, with the spread and resultant illnesses lasting anywhere from 12 to 36 months. Industrialized nations like the United States would suffer the least due to the accessibility to health care and rapid production of vaccines.

The World Health Organization estimates that the next pandemic will kill anywhere from 280,000 to 650,000 people living in industrialized nations. The Center for Disease Control estimates that in a “medium-level pandemic,” 207,000 Americans will die, and 2 to 7.4 million people worldwide will perish.

A highly improbable worst-case scenario, in which vaccines are not developed rapidly enough and the disease mutates to become spread by human-to-human contact, could result in fatalities soaring as high as 16 million in the U.S. alone.

Nations, organizations and scientists including the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control have Pandemic Preparedness Plans in place, are continually researching viral mutations, vaccines and methods in assisting developing countries, and are constantly looking for warning signs to heed the spread of any pandemic that arises in the future.

I have to take issue with some of the statements above. “Pandemics also emerge in waves. The initial wave, like the one we see in End Day, would be the least deadly,”

 We do not know this to be a rule that is set in stone. We do not actually know how pandemics emerge nor how they are spread, not entirely anyway. Since 1918 there have been many changes in our society and the pattern of the spread of disease may have been altered by these changes.

“with the spread and resultant illnesses lasting anywhere from 12 to 36 months.”

This is generally accepted as being true but this is not set in stone either.

“Industrialized nations like the United States would suffer the least due to the accessibility to health care and rapid production of vaccines.”

Accessibility to health care will not help us during a severe pandemic. We currently do not have the surge capacity to help all people during a pandemic. Many hospitals and health centers may close. We will have to take care of those that are ill in our own homes and communities.

Also, there exist few to no technologies currently that will rapidly produce the vaccines that we need for the next pandemic. There simply will not be enough vaccine for everyone, at least not at first.

Other than these statements, the above description of what we could face during a pandemic and what we will face facing a severe pandemic seems pretty accurate.

Hopefully the somewhat sensational approach will not lead people into not taking pandemics seriously.

A preview of the program may be obtained here

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