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Title:

Implications of Pandemic Influenza for Bioterrorism Response

Authors:
Monica Schoch-Spana
Date posted:
November 17, 2000
Publication type:
Article
Publication:

Clin Infect Dis 2000;31(6):1409-1413

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Availability:
Available on publisher's website
See also:

Full article as HTML • PDF

Introduction:

The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) had catastrophic effects upon urban populations in the United States. Large numbers of frightened, critically ill people overwhelmed health care providers. Mortuaries and cemeteries were severely strained by rapid accumulation of corpses of flu victims. Understanding of the outbreak's extent and effectiveness of containment measures was obscured by the swiftness of the disease and an inadequate health reporting system. Epidemic controls such as closing public gathering places elicited both community support and resistance, and fear of contagion incited social and ethnic tensions. Review of this infamous outbreak is intended to advance discussions among health professionals and policymakers about an effective medical and public health response to bioterrorism, an infectious disease crisis of increasing likelihood. Elements of an adequate response include building capacity to care for mass casualties, providing emergency burials that respect social mores, properly characterizing the outbreak, earning public confidence in epidemic containment measures, protecting against social discrimination, and fairly allocating health resources.

Full article as HTML • PDF

 

 

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