The New York Times; Wednesday, March 16, 2005 15 Nightmares for Disaster Planning
Brief Background-Avian Influenza Avian influenza is caused by a bird flu virus. These occur naturally among birds (e.g., chickens, ducks, turkeys) Normally, bird flu does not affect humans; HOWEVER, transmission has occurred in Asia/Southeast Asia causing severe respiratory illness in humans with high death rate. Symptoms of Bird Flu in Humans: Typical flu-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other life threatening complications.
Brief Background: Avian Influenza Transmission occurs via contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces. Treatment: Currently, there is no vaccine. There are two antiviral drugs used to treat and prophylax for avian influenza.
2005 ALERT #38: Clusters of severe H5N1 influenza outbreaks with community transmission in Vietnam
Please Distribute to All Medical, Pediatric, Family Practice, Laboratory, Critical Care, Pulmonary, Dermatology, Employee Health, and Pharmacy Staff in Your Hospital
Clusters of severe H5N1 influenza outbreaks have been identified in southeast Asia. There are currently no cases in the United States. The NYC DOHMH and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have instituted screening of travelers to and from affected countries. A vaccine is in development and will be available in 3-4 months. The NYC DOHMH is requesting heightened surveillance for persons presenting with the following illness:
1. High fever (>38o C or 101.4o F) AND
2. Respiratory signs or symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing AND/OR
3 . Anyone with these symptoms who has traveled to Vietnam or had contact with someone who is ill and had travelled
NYC DOHMH requests immediate reporting of any cases with the above illness and asks health care providers to:
Ensure that patients with fever and respiratory symptoms are quickly identified and isolated.
Promote respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette and hand washing measures.
Consider using rapid influenza diagnostic tests.
Use antiviral medications judiciously.
Tuesday, 9:00 am
The City of New York
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
Michael R. Bloomberg Thomas R. Frieden, m.d., m.p.h.
Patients who meet these criteria should be isolated and evaluated using airborne precautions. Please notify the NYS/NYC immediately so that we can assist with clinical management and laboratory testing. Call the Provider Access Line at 1-800-NYC DOH1.
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