Pandemic Preparedness and Updates, May 2nd 2009
Doctor Fukuda of WHO statements of yesterday via Canadian Press.
TORONTO — The world may not know for quite some time how the outbreak of swine flu will play out, the scientist leading the World Health Organization’s response to the situation warned Friday. And given that the future path of the virus is unknowable and the possibilities run the gamut from fizzling out to causing a global outbreak of severe disease and death, preparing is the prudent course of action, Dr. Keiji Fukuda told The Canadian Press in an interview.
Snowy Owl’s diary
We cannot say what can happen in the future and therefore we cannot turn away from the information’s on this Public Health crisis but at the same time we must not overreact about it.
WHO has raised the level of alert from 3 to 5 in a week for good reasons. This new virus A H1N1 is complex and has we now can see it can transmit itself trough people in a sustain way (In most countries with cases now, it had spread, person to persons).
So yes the outbreak of this new virus follows the Trail that leads to a pandemic.
Nationals Governments up to now have been wise in not closing borders, viruses do not know borders, and closing them can lead quite fast to shortages of basic supplies.
After studying quite a lot the consequences of mild to worst pandemics, one can only conclude that the most important thing for society as a whole in order to reduce morbidity and mortality is to maintain a Humanitarian Governance, Civil Order, supporting the Health Care Providers and inform people how to cope efficiently in a pandemic.
Because of the bird flu threat (virus H5N1), most of governments have elaborated pandemic preparedness plan, wich is a good news for all of us.
Civil Order, unless govs make inadequate decisions is in the hands of individuals because each and one of us can make a difference.
Just by Hand washing we reduce our risk to become infected thus reducing the burden on the Health Infrastructures. It is efficient, cheap, easy to do and to teach.
Experts do not know yet how severe this outbreak will be. Many factors has to be taken into consideration in order to make a realistic statement on how severe it will be, but up to now, for the short term it looks as if it will be mild.
The swiftness of the reaction of the Mexican Government on NPI (Non Pharmaceutical Interventions), closing of schools, stopping mass gathering, etc.. seems to have help to slow down the spread. But despite this, yesterday almost a million Mexicans left Mexico city because almost everything is close and people had two choices, SIP (Sit in Place) being patient and autonomous for another five days or get out of there to get medicine, food or for other reasons. On this matter we can expect a rise of cases in a week.
We can already observe how important it is to make sure that we have a couple of week of water, non perishable food, critical medicine and make a plan if our school and Day Care centers close for a week or two. There is NOW a window of opportunity for citizens to prepare. Governments are quite prepared but what about businesses, Community groups and local Services ?