Public Health – How Prepared Is the Nation?

Public health encompasses pandemics and bioterrorism incidents as much as injury and illness threats following other types of disasters. The burden of biological threats is often less visible, but can affect economic stability and national security just as much as (if not more than) other types of disasters. Efforts to mitigate and prepare for infectious diseases – both natural and malicious – have been subdued compared to other preparedness efforts.

Biothreat Preparedness - Less Talking, More Doing

An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same question: Where does the nation stand on preparedness for biological threats? As the world watches to see how West Africa manages the latest Ebola outbreak, public health officials must continue to train, educate, staff, and fund their forces to be ready when they too must face a major biological threat.

Bioterror - The Threat, The Defense & The Future

Adequate defense for a bioterrorism attack requires fortification of the public health infrastructure as well as the establishment and continuance of a good healthcare system. With the potential to spread rapidly with and between communities, bioagents as weapons pose a significant threat to U.S. communities that require greater attention on a national scale.

Building & Maintaining a Strong Disaster Volunteer Force

To meet the challenges of preparing for potential medical disasters and biothreats, health departments across the nation must work with many dedicated volunteers to provide emergency shelters, vaccinations, and other medical care. When organizations like the Medical Reserve Corps recruit, train, and maintain these volunteers, the benefits in lives saved could be immeasurable.

Revisiting the Staging Area Manager

Modern communication methods and social media enable rapid transfer of information. As a result, there is often an influx of responders and onlookers when an incident occurs. To manage those who were not dispatched to the scene, a staging area manager can help establish a check-in post, organize and track resources, and share information with the command post.

Special Facilities - More Than Just Shelters

Many emergency plans call for the establishment of special facilities – each serving a primary function(s) to protect the population – in order to fulfill the public’s needs during or

International Public Health Concerns - Not So Foreign

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Lassa fever, and other pathogenic infections are just a few of the biothreats that recently have grabbed national attention in the United States. What were once considered foreign diseases are not so foreign in a globalized economy. As such, a national strategy for biosurveillance must effectively reach all levels of the public and private sectors.

Importance of the Global Health Security Agenda

Increased intercontinental travel and increased biological, pandemic, and other disease threats mean that countries must effectively cooperate and communicate to prevent the spread of disease within and between interconnected communities. The Global Health Security helps bring together global partners and address key issues related to preventing, detecting, and responding to such public health threats.
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