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The World According to the Yale/New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness

May 5, 2008

I totally meant to blog on this last week, but what do you know, it’s Friday the following Monday already, and I just got the latest edition of the Yale/New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Preparedness Report.

I know that I keep telling everybody to subscribe to this weekly newsletter (in the secret hopes that they’ll profile me!), but I’m going to do it again, and again, and probably again. The reason is that it’s so hard to find a good source of public health preparedness information (BreakGlass.net not withstanding) and stories that I feel compelled to let you all know when they come out with a good update–which ends up being just about every week.

Last week was a great edition. After reading it, I promised I’d get three or four posts out of it. And here it is a week later, and I haven’t posted anything on it. So, we’ll do the ten-cent version.

First, ASTHO (The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials)

posted … recommendations on how state, local, territorial and tribal health agencies can prepare to help “at-risk” groups—such as people who can’t afford to stockpile food, don’t speak English or need assistance with daily activities—get
through a pandemic.

As we’ve mentioned before, so-called special populations are a key part of health planning and have rightly been included in public health grant writing guideline as of late.

Next, the CDC has pulled together dozens of subject matter experts with the goal of publishing new management guidelines for responding to anthrax. The proposed major changes include:

1) the preference given to ciprofloxacin over doxycycline, as concomitant meningitis should be suspected in all patients and ciprofloxacin has better meningeal penetration; and 2) the emphasis on “early and aggressive” drainage of pleural
effusions in all patients.

If you’re interested, you can learn more here.

The CDC website has also (they’ve been busy as of late) installed a What’s New feature on their BT and Emergency Preparedness page. Intended to highlight the latest and greatest changes to the BT site, they’re launching it with a video entitled A New Era in Preparedness.

Finally, FEMA has gotten into the swing of new public health preparedness stuff with a new Independent Study (IS) course. The IS courses are courses, usually completed online, intended to introduce issues of emergency management and homeland security. The most famous, of course, are ICS-100 and -700, the introduction to Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The new course deals with ESF-8 (or Emergency Support Function #8 – Health and Medical Services) and can be found here. I haven’t had a chance to go through the course, but expect a report back after I do. You guys are all encouraged to spend some time both tooling around the FEMA training site here, and hopefully taking the new IS-808.

Photo courtesy of antonde

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