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Pandemics

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News
  1. -001 Flu Shots Locator and Flu Trends in the U.S. (Google.org)
      "We've found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems." 04-09

  2. -04-30-09 Pandemic Flu Checklist for Families (PandemicFlu.com)
      "You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic." 04-09

  3. -05-01-09 How Long Will It Take to Develop a Vaccine? (Time.com)
      "With the first reported death from the 2009 H1N1 flu, or swine flu, in the U.S., the Federal Government and flu-vaccine manufacturers are preparing for the possibility that a new vaccine will be necessary to control the outbreak. Should the call for vaccine production come from health officials, both traditional and newer, faster vaccine-making methods could be employed."

      "But even if the CDC's seed stock of virus were to be released to vaccine makers today, it would take the companies anywhere from four to six months before the first inoculation could be ready for public use."

      "At the biotech company Novavax, researchers are testing the use of virus-like particles (VLP), instead of the virus itself, to stimulate a flu immune response. Using this method, a vaccine for the 2009 H1N1 virus could be in production in 10 to 12 weeks, rather than the usual four to six months." 05-09

  4. -12-19-07 Study Reveals Readiness of States for a Pandemic (USA Today)
      "Thirteen states don't have adequate plans to distribute vaccines and antidotes in the event of a flu pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, according to a health preparedness report out Tuesday."

      "The Trust for America's Health, a non-partisan research organization, found that states have made significant progress in preparing for major health emergencies since 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001. But large gaps in readiness still exist, the report said." 12-07

  5. Swine Flu Update for the U.S. (CDC.gov)
      "Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count is provided below." 04-09

Papers
  1. -Ebola Virus Disease (World Health Organization)
      "Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%. The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees)."

      "Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patientís infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles." 10-14

  2. -Ebola Virus Disease Flowchart (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
      Provides a flowchart on how to respond to suspected Ebola cases. 10-14

  3. -One-Stop Access to Pandemic Flu Information (PandemicFlu.gov)
      "The CDC is actively investigating isolated human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) in several states (CA, TX, OH, KS, NY) and is working closely with Canada and Mexico and with the WHO. The CDC is continuously updating investigation information." 04-09

  4. -Pandemic (Wikipedia.org)
      "A pandemic... is an epidemic (an outbreak of an infectious disease) that spreads across a large region, or even worldwide." 01-07

  5. -Swine Flu Update Worldwide (World Health Organization)
      "Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count is provided below." 04-09

  6. Antiviral Drugs for Influenza (Flu) (CDC.gov)
      "Although yearly vaccination with the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs can be effective for prevention and treatment of the flu." 04-09

  7. Bubonic Plague (Centers for Disease Control)
      "People usually get plague from being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an infected animal. Millions of people in Europe died from plague in the Middle Ages, when human homes and places of work were inhabited by flea-infested rats. Today, modern antibiotics are effective against plague, but if an infected person is not treated promptly, the disease is likely to cause illness or death." 01-07

  8. Bubonic Plague (EMedicine.com)
      "The plague has caused more fear and terror than perhaps any other infectious disease in the history of humankind. It has laid claim to nearly 200 million lives and has brought about monumental changes, such as the end of the Dark Ages and the advancement of clinical research in medicine."

      "Although still debated by historians, the plague has been responsible for at least 3 great pandemics and multiple epidemics in history. The first spread occurred from the Middle East to the Mediterranean basin during the fifth and sixth centuries AD, killing approximately 50% of the population in these areas. The second pandemic afflicted Europe between the 8th and 14th centuries, destroying nearly 40% of the population. The third pandemic started in approximately 1855 in China, and, although it has been mostly controlled, it is still ongoing." 01-07

  9. Bubonic Plague (RareDiseases.about.com)
      "Bubonic plague is a potentially fatal bacterial infection. It causes swollen, tender lymph nodes, high fever, and chills. The infected person may develop serious illnesses such as pneumonia, blood poisoning, or meningitis." 01-07

  10. Bubonic Plague (Wikipedia.org)
      "Bubonic plague is the best-known variant of the deadly infectious disease plague, which is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis. The epidemological use of the term plague is currently applied to bacterial infections that cause buboes, although historically the medical use of the term plague was applied to pandemic infections generally." Bubonic plague is sometimes called the "black plague." 01-07

  11. Flu Factsheet for Persons Exposed (Health.State.MN.US)
      "Avian influenza refers to a large group of different influenza viruses that primarily infect birds. A pandemic occurs when an avian influenza strain adapts to become easily transmissible between humans, e.g., by coughing and sneezing. Once this adaptation occurs, it will no longer be a bird virus - it will be a human influenza virus." 02-08

  12. Flu Vaccinations (CDC.gov)
      "The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year."

      Editor's Note: As of April 27th, a vaccine for "swine flu" had not been made available. 04-09

  13. History of Epidemics and Plagues (Hartford.edu)
      "Every infection is a race between the microbes and the host. The microbe, following the indelible rules of evolution, strives to survive and reproduce, while the host's immune system mounts a warlike defense designed to find, destroy, and eliminate it. An agent that kills its host quickly cannot be expected to survive long enough to reproduce. Thus excessive virulence is not selected for in evolution. Germs, which can reproduce and be passed from one host to another, are favored." 01-07

  14. How Ebola Got Out of Control (Time.com)
      "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently projected that if trends continue unimpeded, cases of Ebola could pass the million mark by January. While thatís an unlikely scenario, many are still wondering: how on earth did it get this bad? We canvassed experts for some clues." 09-14

  15. Respirators for Pandemics (CDC.gov)
      Provides a list of NIOSH-Approved N95 Disposable Particulate Respirators for use in case of a flu pandemic. 07-07

  16. Respirators for Pandemics (UCLA)
      "The N95 rating [for face masks] meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for protection against tuberculosis and anthrax spores, as well as the most foreseeable bioweaponry, which ranges in size from 1.0 to 5.0 microns. So the N95s are more than capable of preventing their inhalation."

      "Even in a biological attack, the masks have major shortcomings. Like fit."

      " 'Does it have a nose piece like a metal clip you can bend over your nose? That's a better model because the big kicker here is getting a good fit,' Utgoff says."

      "Bad fits are deadly. Contaminated air breathed from around the unfiltered edges instead of through the N95-rated material undermines the purpose of a mask."

      "And, got a beard? 'Shave it,' says Breysse, who recommends duct-taping the mask to your face to make a good fit." 07-07

  17. Simulated Immune System Reported (Time.com)
      "You've heard of artificial limbs and artificial hearts but what about artificial immune systems? Add another notch to the test tube: scientists at VaxDesign, a five-year-old biotechnology company based in Orlando, Florida, have created a simulated human immune system, called the Modular Immune In Vitro Construct (MIMIC for short). The dime-sized immune system can predict how humans will respond to new vaccines. The goal? To streamline vaccine research and hasten the eradication of global killers, such as AIDS." 03-08

  18. Study: Europe's Plagues Came from China (New York Times)
      "The great waves of plague that twice devastated Europe and changed the course of history had their origins in China, a team of medical geneticists reported Sunday, as did a third plague outbreak that struck less harmfully in the 19th century."

      "The likely origin of the plague in China has nothing to do with its people or crowded cities, Dr. Achtman said. The bacterium has no interest in people, whom it slaughters by accident. Its natural hosts are various species of rodent such as marmots and voles, which are found throughout China."

  19. Swine Flu No Worse than Regular Flu (CNN News)
      "The swine flu virus that has sparked fear and precautions worldwide appears to be no more dangerous than the regular flu virus that makes its rounds each year, U.S. officials said Monday."

      "There are still concerns that the virus could return in the fall, in the typical flu season, as a stronger strain." 05-09

  20. Virus Revived After 30,000 Years (BBC News)
      "An ancient virus has 'come back to life' after lying dormant for at least 30,000 years, scientists say."

      "It was found frozen in a deep layer of the Siberian permafrost, but after it thawed it became infectious once again."

      "Prof Claverie warns that exposing the deep layers could expose new viral threats."

      "He said: 'It is a recipe for disaster. If you start having industrial explorations, people will start to move around the deep permafrost layers. Through mining and drilling, those old layers will be penetrated and this is where the danger is coming from.' " 03-14

  21. What If Swine Flu Becomes a Pandemic? (CNN News)
      Swine flu is not currently a pandemic. If it became one, this is what could happen: "The disease would skip from city to city over an 18- to 24-month period, infecting more than a third of the population. World Health Organization officials believe that as many as 1.5 billion people around the globe would seek medical care, and nearly 30 million would seek hospitalization. Based on the last pandemic and current world population, as many as 7 million people could die, epidemiologists said." 04-09

  22. Where Are We 10 Years After SARS? (Healthland.Time.com)
      "We face what I describe as a perfect storm of vulnerability. We have emerging infections, drug-resistant microbes, globalization of travel, and increasing ease of creating threats in the lab. We got lucky that that none of the cases in the U.S. came from a super-spreader, that it was controllable in the early stages, and that we acted aggressively to isolate the suspected cases."

      "One of the most important things we can do is to train epidemiologists in other countries on how to find and stop outbreaks before they spread." 03-13

  23. Zoonotic Viruses (University of South Carolina)
      "Zoonotic viruses are viruses which are transmissible from animals (arthropods, vertebrates) to man. " 12-08

Purchase Resources
  1. Respirators for Pandemics (Nextag.com)
      Provides sources for N95 respirators or face masks. Awesome Library does not endorse these products but provides them as examples. 07-07

  2. Respirators for Virus Protection (Tasco-Safety.com)
      "Particulate respirators may be used to reduce exposure to particles that are small enough to be inhaled - particles less than 100 microns (Ķm) in size. This includes airborne particles that may contain biological material, e.g. mold, Bacillus anthracis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), etc." For protection from viruses, a respirator must pass the NIOSH N95 test. 02-08

   
   


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