[GlobalHealth] Swine Flu: Public Health Emergency of International
dwade at u.washington.edu
Mon Apr 27 12:44:32 PDT 2009
Forwarding these references compiled by School of Public Health faculty member, Dr. Ann Marie Kimball, a leading expert on emerging infections, international trade and public health policy and Director, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Emerging InfectionsNetwork
From: akimball [akimball at u.washington.edu]
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 11:50 AM
To: ghforum at u.washington.edu
Subject: Public Health Emergency of International Concern declared.
Thank you for your inquiries about the current prepandemic/pandemic
situation. With this note I will direct everyone to the best and most
current sources of information. The University of Washington has a
pandemic plan and an pandemic page which is kept updated You can find this
The Seattle King County Health Department is one of the leaders in
pandemic preparedness nationwide. To date there are NO cases in King
As you may know, yesterday the Director General of WHO declared a Public
Health Emergency of International Concern under the International Health
If you are unsure what a PHEIC is please go to
This is appropriate given that there are cases documented
in the US (Texas, California, New York, Ohio and suspect in Kansas) and
there is a large epidemic of the same new virus in Mexico affecting 14 or
16 states with a fairly high mortality. Additional suspect and confirmed
cases are noted in UK, Canada, France, Spain, Hong Kong, New Zealand at
this time. PLEASE NOTE not all of these cases are confirmed nor are they
confirmed as the same virus at this time. As always in Public Health
practice when you look you find in terms of suspect cases and the call for
enhanced surveillance from WHO is being activated worldwide in keeping
with the IHR provisions.
What is important from a Global prepandemic/pandemic perspective is to
note not only where cases are being reported but where they are not. Poor
countries with fragile public health systems and poor diagnostic access
will be less likely to be able to notify early. This is precisely why the
vision of global public health competency as a global good ( as embodied
in the new International Health Regulations) is so critical
in our interconnected world.
Today the CDC released the national stockpile of antiretrovirals for
potential use if in the response. Canada has also readjusted its
stockpiles to reflect the known sensitivities of this pathogen to relenza
So what does this mean to us? If you have recently returned from Mexico
and feel ill with flulike symptoms please don a mask, contact your
physician and do not attend work or class. Otherwise handwashing, staying
home when ill and watching the two information sources cited above are
good to do. If and when masking becomes useful...N-95 masks are not
perfect but they are available over the counter in drug stores. Personally
we keep them on hand.
People have also asked about travel plans. Right now there are no travel
advisories in place. However there is a fair amount of social confusion in
Mexico City as all schools and cultural gatherings are cancelled for the
next 10 days and that will likely be extended.
Please note the views expressed above are my own, and do not reflect the
formal policies of the University of Washington. They are posted in
response to the numerous emails of inquiry I have received, Thank you.
Ann Marie Kimball, MD,MPH,FACPM
Director, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Emerging Infections
skype address: a.m.kimball.
Author: Risky Trade: Infectious Disease in an Era of Global Trade (2006
FOR NON UW RELATED COMMUNICATIONS: amkimball at gmail.com, thank you.
Professor,Epidemiology, Health Services
Adjunct Professor, Biomedical and Health Informatics and Medicine
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington
BOX 357236, Seattle, 98195.
(206)616-1830, cell (206-265-3522) texting preferred, internationally
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