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.

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  • standingfirm

The “All Health Hazards” Preparation and Why It IS Necessary

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 1, 2008

As mentioned before on this blog, the all-hazards approach to disaster has been a great boon to us all. Infectious diseases require their own preparation over and above the general preparation that the all-hazards approach teaches us.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is specific when encountering a health hazard as well as the treatment we provide our loved ones and community members. Also the length of time that we have to deal with the disaster is extended – weeks or months as opposed to days or weeks for hurricanes, tornadoes and fires.

Emerging (a new infection) and re-emerging diseases (those on the increase over the last 20 years) which have changed or “drifted” and are now striking us with a renewed vigor, something to pay attention to. And now there are the drug resistant forms (those that once were sensitive to antibiotics or other medicines and no longer are). Some diseases like mumps, measles and pertussis, once kept at bay through immunization, are gaining a foothold as more children are not vaccinated against them. We lose ‘herd immunity’, allowing these diseases to again kill and maim.

Borrowing heavily from “Germs Go Global

” – a Trust For Americas Health Report…

Some of the factors cited that are leading to emergence of these diseases; “Microbial adaptation, climate and weather, changing ecosystems, human demographics, international travel and commerce, breakdown of public health measures, poverty,…” Public complacency and apathy might also be added to the list. As drug companies pursue profits vaccine research and development falls by the wayside leaving us without vaccine and necessary drugs to fight infections.

Our three biggest infectious disease threats (HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria) have no effective vaccines to thwart their advance. Through education and awareness lives can be saved and disease spread held at bay until vaccines can be developed, if there is the political will to do so.

HIV/AIDS – “an emerging infectious disease that sparked a worldwide pandemic. Globally, in 2007, nearly 33 million people were reported to be living with HIV. More than 980,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the U.S. since it was first reported in this country in 1981”.

Tuberculosis (TB) – “More than one-third of the global population is infected with TB”…”In 2006, there were 14.4 million people living with active TB worldwide”. Because treatment for TB begs non-compliance due to the length of treatment, the amount of drugs required, and the discipline required in following the protocol, non-compliance is leading to the emergence of new drug resistant forms of the illness. Newly emergent forms: XDR-TB and MDR-TB have even more far reaching, grave, implications.

Malaria – Once “nearly eliminated in the U.S.”, “sporadic cases” have been reported.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – A severe, newly emergent infectious disease caused by the coronavirus, the virus that causes the common cold. Within six weeks in 2002 the virus causes 8,000+ people to become infected and 774 of them died. Closely examining SARS, the rapid spread, and the economic impact of the illness is an indicator of what a pandemic of influenza will do in our modern societies.

H5N1 Avian Influenza – is becoming more adapted to the human respiratory tract. As it does so it becomes more easily transmissible as a sustained human to human virus.

Hepatitis C – “In 2006, there were an estimated 19,000 new hepatitis C virus infections in the U.S. and an estimated 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Approximately 8,000 – 10,000 people die every year from hepatitis C related liver disease”.

Lyme Disease  – First recognized in it’s current iteration in 1975 when a cluster of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in Lyme and Old Lyme, CT caught the attention of local physicians from Yale University.

Transmitted by ticks, on the East Coast the deer tick and in the West, the black-legged tick. Infection can spread to the heart, the nervous system and to joints – it is a painful and debilitating illness. Typically successfully treated by antibiotics, antibiotic resistance can and does develop in later stages of the illness.

Urbanization and deforestation is implicated in the spread of this disease as more humans live in tick infested areas.

Legionnaire’s Disease – Legionella bacteria first emerged in 1976 at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. A type of pneumonia that is usually found during the summer and fall months but can occur at any time of the year.

Mumps , Measles , and Pertussis – These childhood illnesses are in the news headlines with increasing frequency as vaccination compliance drops off. Measles is a highly infectious disease carries the weight of severe and sometimes permanent complications.

Resource: Parents Guide to Childhood Immunization

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – Once predominately a hospital acquired infection, MRSA has become endemic in some of our community settings. MRSA infects wounds and becomes a systemic illness leading to tissue destruction and death. It is very painful and very difficult to treat. And there is evidence that the drugs used to treat the infections are losing their effectiveness.

The tropical diseases:

Dengue Fever – “A flu-like illness that can be painful and debilitating…transmitted by mosquitoes. The more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndromes can be fatal”. “…public health experts believe that dengue is one of the world’s most important re-emerging diseases”. “Mosquitoes that can transmit the illness have been found in 36 U.S. states and are pf particular concern along the U.S.-Mexico border and in Puerto Rico”.

Yellow Fever – “Brazil reported it’s first outbreak of yellow fever…since the 1940’s”.

The report also cites the “potential deliberate use of pathogens as agents of bioterrorism”. From anthrax to hantavirus, we can no longer afford to ignore these possible threats. “Developing effective medical countermeasures against deliberately emerging diseases has become a national priority”.

Preparedness cannot be left up to Congress, the President, state or even local public health officials.

Trust for America’s Health includes several recommendations for detection, response, and deterrence, of these disease threats. A good start is to read this report and fully understand what we, as a nation and globally, we are up against.

In my humble opinion apathy is an enemy. As a nation we need to build up our public health infrastructure. Funding for public health in our communities must be increased in order to attract the best and brightest into the field. By bolstering and enhancing our public health response efforts we take more of the burden off of our health care practitioners enabling them to concentrate more on disease treatment while public health leaders focus on prevention and mitigation efforts. Working disease surveillance systems and further educating the public as to what they can do to stop the spread of infectious disease is crucial. The “many hands” approach is most appropriate because no single entity within our communities, our states, or our nation, can bear the brunt of the burden alone, especially in these economic times.

Infectious diseases know no borders, do not respect human divisions like race, creed, or economic status. They strike wherever they will and our efforts to curtail them must also reach across any divides that we have already in place within our healthcare, emergency service, and public health infrastructures. An open dialogue within our nation and communities is greatly needed.


Resource: Germs Go Global – Why Emerging Infectious Diseases Are A Threat To America from Trust for America’s Health



One Response to “The “All Health Hazards” Preparation and Why It IS Necessary”

  1. […] bookmarks tagged health The "All Health Hazards" Preparation and… saved by 2 others     kewlAkane bookmarked on 11/01/08 | […]

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