Week 4 Discussion
West Nile Virus
You are the director of communicable diseases in a city health department, responsible for a large urban community. It is early spring in 2003. For the past two years, your department has been working to control the spread of the West Nile Virus and you are pleased with the progress so far. This morning you read about a suspected outbreak of a new disease called SARS which is suspected to have killed dozens of people in Hong Kong. While West Nile Virus is carried by birds, especially crows, SARS is transmitted among people.
When you get to the office and check your email you learn that the World Health Organization has placed a number of East Asian cities off limits for all but essential travel. You also learn that Canada has reported deaths they believe are due to SARS. You are now confronted with addressing a new and virulent contagious disease.
- Discuss the approach you would adopt in such a situation.
- Follow a step by step process for disaster preparedness.
Use the following resources, use outside resources and your textbook for this discussion:
- Suthar, M. S., Diamond, M. S., & Gale Jr, M. (2013). West nile virus infection and immunity. Nature Reviews.Microbiology, 11(2), 115-28. doi:http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1038/nrmicro2950
- Mainali, S., Afshani, M., Wood, J. B., & Levin, M. C. (2011). The natural history of west nile virus infection presenting with west nile virus meningoencephalitis in a man with a prolonged illness: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 5(1), 204-204. doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-204
- Slattery, C., Syvertson, R., & Krill, S. J. (2009). The eight step training model: Improving disaster management leadership. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 6(1), 8. doi:10.2202/1547-7355.1403
To support your work, use your course and textbook readings and also use the South University Online Library. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.
Your initial posting should be addressed at 150-300 words. Submit your document to this Discussion Area by the due date assigned. Be sure to cite your sources using APA format.
Respond to your peers throughout the unit. Justify your answers with examples, research, and reasoning. Follow up posts need to be submitted by the end of the week.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an example of an infectious viral disease spreading rapidly. According to WHO, this global threat first appeared in Southern China in November 2002. This disease spread to more than twenty-four countries across South America, Asia, North America, and Europe. About 8098 cases of infections were reported during the 2003 outbreak. However, no more new cases of SARS have been reported since 2004 (World Health Organization, 2020). It is a highly infectious disease mainly spread from one person to another through close contact with an infected person. Also, one can get the virus by inhaling coughs or sneezes through kissing or sharing eating utensils with an infected person (Suthar et al., 2013). Adults aged 25 -70 years are more likely to develop the disease. Thus, SARS is a significant global health issue that requires effective prevention measures.
The new outbreak of SARS in Canada and other East Asian cities creates a threat to other parts of the world. Therefore, there is a need to establish various measures to prevent the virulent contagious disease from spreading to other parts of the world. In this case, the city health director needs to implement multiple measures to prevent the viral infection from spreading to the large urban community. First, public health education programs will be established on various platforms, including social halls, community gatherings, local TV and radio stations to enlighten the community about the disease. Besides, they will be educated about the measures to prevent spreading the virus, including encouraging the community members to wash their hands frequently using warm water or running water and soap. Secondly, the SARS screening stations will be located at the city’s entry and exit points to ensure the people entering and leaving the city do not have the virus. Besides, quarantines will be used as a public health measure to contain the virus.
Disaster Preparedness Plan
The first step will involve risk assessment. This step aims to determine the level at which the city is exposed to the new outbreak of SARS. Thus, the potential emergencies or risks will be listed and ranked based on their significance or impact to help determine the kind and amount of resources required in managing the disaster. Then necessary plans will be made to ensure the necessary resources are assembled in time (World Health Organization, 2018). The second step will entail team building. A multi-disciplinary team containing experts from different sectors, including finance, healthcare, communication, business, and transport, will be created to execute diverse disaster management processes, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions. The third step includes the creation of an emergency management plan. Here, the strategies to contain the projected situation will be identified at this phase (World Health Organization, 2018). For instance, in this case, one of the measures that will be adopted to control the situation includes providing health education. The community members will be educated about the health issues and measures they can utilize to prevent the spread of the virus, such as washing hands frequently using warm water or running water and soap (Slattery et al., 2009). Also, the second strategy will include the installation of SARS screening stations at the entry and exit points of the city and the implementation of quarantines. The third step will involve the development of a crisis communication plan that will guide all communications about the disaster to avoid miscommunication and the transfer of false information (World Health Organization, 2018). The last step is testing the plan. Thus, various tests, drills, and exercises designed to determine whether the emergency preparedness plan created is effective will be done.