Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Biological Agents: Category A
High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they:
– can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person;
– result in high mortality rates and have the potential for major public health impact;
– might cause public panic and social disruption; and
– require special action for public health preparedness.
• Anthrax
• Botulism
• Plague
• Smallpox
• Tularemia
• Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers
Biological Agents: Category B
Second highest priority agents include those that:
– are moderately easy to disseminate;
– result in moderate morbidity rates and low
mortality rates; and
– require specific enhancements of CDC’s diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.
Biological Agents: Category C
Third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of:
– availability;
– ease of production and dissemination; and
– potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.
List and describe at least 5 types of public health emergencies and disasters
• Chemical Threats – Nerve Agents
– Cyanide
– Ricin
• Radiation
– Radiological dispersal
devices (RDDs)
– Nuclear Power Plants

• Natural Disasters – Hurricane
– Heat Wave
– Blizzards
– Beach / Water Safety
• Mass Casualty Incidents

Pandemic Flu: Another Public Health Threat
– Rapid vaccine development
– Stockpile of antivirals antibiotics
– Hospital capacity and equipment
– Community containment
– How do we allocate scarce resources?
New York’s Response to the World Trade Center Attacks (September 11, 2011)
• Communication among response agencies
• Emergency management center damaged
• Air was contaminated for months after
• Monitored food and drinking water
• Monitor emergency rooms for patients with unusual symptoms
• Address psychological distress
• Victim location services
Public Health Involvement in Hurricane Katrina
• Adequacy of warnings issued by mayor and governor
• Clarity of warnings
• Shelter (pre- and post-storm)
• Vulnerable citizens
• FEMA budget and structure
• Victim location services
• Hospital capacity
• Psychological Trauma
US Centers for Disease Control’s Coordination of Emergency Response to
Public Health Threats
• Coordination
• Communication
• Redundancy
• Strong leadership – Incident Command System
• Successful collaboration
• Adequate funding
• Standardization of processes – National Incident Management System
Disaster Preparedness
• Wild Land Fires
• Earthquakes
• Pandemic Influenza
• Tsunami • Flooding • Terrorism
Public health involvement includes: – evacuation;
– evacuation;
– medical care;
– assurance of safe air, water, and food; elimination of injury hazards.
Guide to Public Health Management of Disasters
The Practice Guide:
1. Share Information
2. Resource Management
3. Issue Warnings
4. Unambiguous and Consistent Warnings
5. Coordinate Search and Rescue Missions
6. Warn about Health Risks Post-disaster
7. Establish Triage by Trained Personnel
8. Casualty Distribution
9. Track Patients and Survivors
10. Provide Multiple Levels of Care
11. Manage Volunteers and Donations 12. Expect the Unexpected

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