Friday, September 09, 2011

Good thing it was just a drill.

Emergency preparedness experts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have helped the Chicago department plan its response to potential catastrophe, including swine and bird flu epidemics, plague outbreaks and anthrax bioterrorism.

Chicago, as one of the four largest cities in the nation, is required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to run periodic exercises demonstrating how effectively they would respond to public health emergencies. Local hospitals often join the exercises, as well as the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication. Even O’Hare Airport, a likely gateway for viruses from around the world, has played along in the past.


This particular exercise followed the spread of an imaginary flu from Egypt. By the time the flu “arrived” in Chicago, more than 15,000 cases had been reported worldwide. Reports of an outbreak at an area nursing home kicked off the Chicago scenario.



• Detection of bird flu virus in Dhubri district
• Bird flu alert in Assam, culling of 30,000 birds likely
• Poultry culling begins in Dhubri – Bird flu scare after Bhopal test
• Assam starts chicken cull for bird flu

New Zealand
• New Zealand: Schoolgirl dies after flu

United States
• HealthWatch: New Evidence Of Swine Flu Threat Surfaces

• Dallas Hospital Faces Funding Cutoff

• Male predominance of pneumonia and hospitalization in pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 infection
• US: Washington company decodes mystery viruses and bacteria

• UN issues warning over mutant strain of H5N1, combination with H1N1
• WHO: Flu activity rising in Cuba, Honduras, Cameroon
• H5N1 outbreaks hit birds in India, Bangladesh

• Recombinomic: Silent Spread of trH3N2 Raises Concerns
• Recombinomic: CDC Releases trH3N2 Sequences To Genbank
• Recombinomics: Unsubtypables Raise trH3N2 Pandemic Concerns
• Recombinomics: H3N2 Dominance In US Raises trH3N2 Pandemic Concerns