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.
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• Recombinomic: Silent Spread of trH3N2 Raises Concerns
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