Pandemic Influenza Response Plan

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by WAB, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. WAB

    WAB Well-Known Member

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    I am in medicine. This is a meeting I attended today about the Pandemic Influenza Response Plan for the county I work in.


    The meeting was with South Carolina DHEC,hospital officials,County Sherrifs,EMS and Fire,RedCross and even a General with the SC Air National Guard. The short and sweet version of what they said was:

    1. There is no vaccine. It wont be available until AFTER the outbreak starts and will take a minimum of 6 months for it to be ready.

    2. They suspect the Bird Flu will come in 3 waves. Each wave lasting approx 8 weeks. Overall duration to be 8 months and longer.

    3. The main killer will be chest congestion and pnuemonia. There are only 12 ventilators in this county and they suspect there to be 10,000 people sick. The most that could be hospitalized is about 250. Needless to say there will not be enough to go around.

    4. Quarantine will be the only way to stop it. Whether it be your home or community or town or state. I asked specifically how long did they expect it to last. They said it would be a minimum of 1 year.

    5. I asked the head of Emergency Operations, "After the outbreak is public there will be a panic. What will you do when you have 10,000 people trying to get into the hospitals and such." He looked at me and said "We will shoot them." and he walked away.

    6. I asked will medicine be available and was told that they will "Buy what we need when that time comes."

    Needless to say, you will be on your own to survive this. Everyone needs to stock up on cold medicine especially for "congestion".You will need stuff like Robitussin, Mucinex, Sudafed, Dimetap, aspirin, tylenol, ibuprophen and children cough and cold medicine too. Get some Vicks Vapo-rub or some such as well. You will only have what you have bought and stored before hand. You wont get outside help. Don't forget to stock up on medicine that you take on a regular basis. Go see your family Dr. and get your Pnuemonia and flu vaccine. They may help. They expect over 2 million to die in the US. They also said that the young and old will be the hardest hit.

    This is on top of any other preps you have.
     
  2. Buffy in Dallas

    Buffy in Dallas Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. PineRidge

    PineRidge Well-Known Member

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    WAB

    What you posted is very sobering, and I am a bird flu follower.

    How large is your county population? If there are 12 vents, how large of a hospital do you have? Are they telling the residents to prepare, and for how long? What about your county churches, schools, health departments...are they being told to prepare, or tell others to? What kind of local media are they using? Any plans for a meeting for mere mortals (aka "the rest of the citizens") to get info and ask questions?

    My county is doing squat publically, and very little privately, so I know everyone here is on their own.
     
  5. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Did they indicate how soon they expect it to hit? This fall, next spring, or just prepare because it's going to happen at some time? This is very sobering and I believe we do need to be prepared.

    Before we get panicky, I would like to point out that even in the countries where people have died of bird flu, they're not having the kind of epidemic where people are dying by the thousands. We're hearing of isolated instances where a few people in a family die and that's very sad. But we're not being told that everyone in their area is getting sick with it and half of them are dying. I haven't heard about it being spread from house to house.

    The one thing the bird flu has done is force our medical agencies to scrutinize their facilities and put a plan in place for the possibility. Being prepared with medicine and food so that we can quarantine our families in the event of such a disaster is the best thing we can do.

    Thanks for posting this and giving us more food for thought.
     
  6. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    So, I'm still wondering what all the hubbub is about. I'm reading, from several sources, that worldwide deaths from avian flu number less than two hundred. Even the more extreme sources don't estimate that number as higher than 5-600. This is in asia, a lot of which is third world with far fewer resources than we have in the U.S. So how do we get from this to massive pandemic that wipes out thousands or tens of thousands?
    Precautions should be taken. I'm all for stocking up just in case, and it tends to be wise to prepare for worst case scenarios, but why is it that folks are so convinced that this is going to be such a massive situation, assuming that it ever materializes at all? Nothing I'm seeing seems to mandate such a response.
     
  7. NCGirl

    NCGirl Well-Known Member

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    There are several scenario's.

    1) it continues on as is, no big deal to human's

    2) it becomes the next pandemic but goes from currently killing 50% of infected people down to much lower mortality of maybe less than 1% of those infected and we have another mild pandemic like in 1968.

    3) it becomes the next pandemic and goes from currently killing 50% infected to 2-3% and we have another devestating Spanish Flu. (the spanish flu killed more than WW1 I believe???)

    4) worst case scenario? It becomes our next pandemic and keeps somewhere between 3-50% (or more???) and it is our worst nightmare realized.
     
  8. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Instead of shooting them, they could give them a "vaccine" dose that would put them to sleep (permanently) in a few hours and send them home. That way, they would have put them out of their misery and not have to clean up after them. I think I'll opt for the quarantine. Not sure how I'll pay my car payments and mortgage for 8 months, though. I'd lose my job and twenty years worth of seniority. Might be easier to get forgiven than to get permission. The kids will have to be homeschooled for the duration....hopefully, they could submit to testing to be promoted to the next grade level when they returned to school.

    What plans do the rest of you have?
     
  9. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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  10. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    We have some money flow scheduling that has stopped us preparing this month. The good thing is we have stocks to help us throught the cash flow period that will end in August. My wife said, "After this month we will start stocking again". She hasn't read some of the other posts I read today. I forwarded them to her work email and I know she will read them.

    A pamdemic is just one of many reasons to make some preparations. We didn't expect a change in financies but we are fine and all the bills are paid. That is reason enough to have some stocks. My aim is to have 8 months or more on hand. If the Bird Flu does become transmittable from human to human we will be buying a lot more fast.

    There is some "talk" that the credit card companies will shut down the systems for fear of not getting paid. The banks will be holding our cash and still want to get their loans paid with your earned money not what you have in the bank. That would change everything. Ready cash always works.

    I am like most of you and are following all the reports. There is an interesting "audio" on YAHOO news under bird flu reports. It is from Romainia in the month of May. It is about 3 minutes and 45 seconds long. Yes, it is in English and is worth listening too since the same thing could happen wherever the bird flu surfaces.

    I continue to view all the sites and am always interested in what "you" are doing about preps and what you have read or seen on TV. It is interesting to me that "stocking food and meds for 6 months or more" is hardly ever printed or reported. You can read about sugical masks; beds; emergency hospital tents and equipment and even body bags". Food stocking is hardly ever mentioned. :shrug:
     
  11. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who study and use herbs...help us with what would help with congestion..specifically the deep congestion where you get really sick because nothing will move (bird flu stuff). I am starting to get into herbs but don't know enough to advise anyone...so your knowledge would be greatly appreciated by a lot of us. If possible dosages..for adults and kids. thanks. Thanks for the post WAB.
     
  12. RockyRooster

    RockyRooster Well-Known Member

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    Is the bird flu in the states? I have not heard that at all.
     
  13. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There was a thread recently talking about elderberry extract that had some good info. I did a quick search and came up with these two links:


    http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=123553&highlight=elderberry+extract

    http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=60099&highlight=elderberry+extract
     
  14. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Avian flu is the 'real thing' and H5N1 is particularly nasty.

    Yes, the current strain, H5N1, is NOT yet easily transmissable between humans and there have only been minimal deaths. However, it's very important to bear in mind the following:

    1. Influenza has, historically, caused some extremely nasty pandemics. The 1918/19 pandemic is the one most people are familiar with -- the average CFR (case fatality rate) was around 5% globally -- this is debated, but that's the best estimate I've seen -- actual stats are hard to track because they didn't have accurate testing for it and death certificates would diagnose influenza as "pneumonia" or "black death" or
    "yellow fever" or "cholera" -- pandemic influenza has some symptoms that aren't typical for seasonal flu. Influenza, in the early 1900's, was considered a fairly mild disease so it was COMMON for them to misdiagnose it with hit with patients that were bleeding to death from mucous membranes, had severe diarhea, and viral pneumonia ... and so there was quite a bit of debate about what they were actually dealing with. (Plus they probably did have some genuine issues with other diseases. That winter was just nasty all around.)

    In some places the CFR it was greater, probably due to random mutations. Rio de Janeiro (a large city even then) lost 30% of the population to it; the Eskimo population in Alaska was decimated. The CFR in past epidemics (1800's) was worse.

    Because influenza has -- repeatedly -- caused very nasty epidemics in the past, it's safe to assume it will do it again.

    2. The reason that H5N1 is in the spotlight is that most avian flus do not cause significant infection in mammals. H5N1 ****IS**** infectious to pigs and cats, and has made one "species jump" into big cats where it was 100% definite that it was being transmitted cat to cat and it killed a few hundred tigers in an animal sanctuary before being stamped out.

    It is not easily transmitted person to person yet, but it's "trying" -- there's ample evidence of some fairly large clusters. (8, in Indonesia, with three generations of transmission before dying out; 24 in Turkey, the experts don't concur on how many generations that was.) I've seen some speculation that makes real sense that the reason it hasn't gone FARTHER than small clusters is genetics, and that the genetic factor making a difference, based on human influenza's behavior, may be blood type, but I haven't seen any studies on that -- just informed guesses from experts.

    Because it's already partially adapted to people, it's only a fairly "small step" for it to jump to humans. This can be accomplished two ways -- by "virus sex" where an avian virus recombines with a human strain and picks up the necessary receptors, or by random mutation.

    The thing with influenza is that it mutates constantly. Another way for it to go pandemic is through natural selection. As a virus replicates in human cells, the virii that have mutated and most adapted to people survive and reproduce best in that person's cells. Simple natural selection at work ... If an infected person, with a better-adapted virii then spreads the strain to someone else, that's another chance for the virus to adapt better to humans.

    The cluster in Indonesia showed signs of multiple mutations of this nature.

    If a chain of enough people catch the virus, the virus can better adapt to people that way, become more transmissable, and, voila, pandemic.

    3. The virus can retain the 50-80% CFR we've seen in Asia and become a pandemic, based on what I've read. It can mutate to allow for a human pandemic without losing the ability to replicate at an extremely rapid pace and infect multiple organs.

    OTOH, it could also end up a much milder virus. But it's the specter of a human influenza plague with a 50% CFR that's got so many people worried.

    4. The healthcare system in the US -- and pretty much nation wide -- would absolutely collapse. They just don't have the resources to deal with it.

    5. Influenza survives fairly well in the environment, remaining infectious for days or weeks depending on a few factors. A well adapted pandemic strain would be wildly infectious -- the kind of thing you could catch by touching a doorknob and then scratching your nose, or walking past someone on the street. People are infectious for about a day before they show any symptoms, also, and when they do get sick, there's quit an issue with very infectious bodily fluids for caregivers. In 1918, pandemic influenza spread across the entire US in weeks, with very few places left untouched and many reports of one or two index cases followed, within a week or so, by tens of thousands of cases. I think the thing that scares me the most about pandemic flu is that sheer incredible rate of spread that it showed in 1918. We could be facing that again, only faster, because our transportation system's better.

    *shrug* I hope -- I pray -- that H5N1 dies out. But it's got me worried enough to be stockpiling supplies. (Which is a good idea anyway, but AI was the kicker that got me started.)
     
  15. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I suspect the reason they're not telling people to stockpile 6 months worth of food is that they don't have that much food "in the system" and it would crash the distribution network and cause major shortages, which would cause a panic well in advance of any pandemic!

    Wouldn't take more than a few dozen people in "prep mode" to clean every single canned good or bag of rice/flour/beans off the shelf of your average grocery store ...

    Leva

     
  16. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    It isn't in the states. I think the last outbreak was in Indonesia.
     
  17. RockyRooster

    RockyRooster Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much. That post just scared the heck out of me.
     
  18. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

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    UMPC a Pittsburgh hospital, is suggesting that it's staff be prepared with 8 weeks worth of food, medicine & suppies in their homes.
    IMHO that is not near enough. I always have a stockpile of stuff to sit out the winter, but this year I intended to have EVERYTHING I could possibly need to shelter in place for 6 months. I mean from mascra to cut wood.

    veme
     
  19. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    I think after hurricane Katrina the government is getting behind the idea of preparedness on a more local level. I guess they think the bird flu is a good one to prepare for since we have had pandemics before. There doesn't appear to be much threat of it right now though. I know you prepare and so do we so we would be okay. I know they are probably trying to get the average person to have some food storage or whatever on hand for any event that may come along.
     
  20. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Most of what I've read says "when" it gets here. How do they know it will actually get here? I've read articles that claim this is another headline manuver by the press. Does anyone have any actual verified information about it? Is it actually a threat or is all the stuff we keep hearing just propaganda to keep us from seeing past it to other happenings that are being kept quiet? Does anyone have any solid numbers?