Is U. S. Ready? SARS, Viruses, Flu & Other Diseases, Part 2

posted by Maleekie Ambularie @ 2:15 AM
September 22, 2012

       As U.S. health officials get ready for Fall and Winter seasonal diseases, several problems persist.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports this week that now the number of  West Nile Virus cases is 3,142, with 134 deaths.  The agency insists the rate is slowing, but states say cases are increasing.

Flu vaccines are ready, but they may not cover all possible flu virus combinations.  Researchers warn that schools are not prepared for possible pandemic levels. And depressed economic conditions leave most neighborhoods with foreclosed and abandoned houses that are rife environments for diseased mosquitoes, rats, cats, dogs, etc. to invade neighborhoods.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this year’s vaccine formula for six manufacturers to produce and distribute.  Since the H3N2 and B strains are different from last year, Dr. Karen Midthun, Director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, advises: “It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three virus strains used in this season’s influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year’s vaccines.”

Several news outlets released astounding assessments from 2,000 nurses in elementary, middle and high schools in 26 states reporting to the St. Louis University Medical Center that U.S. schools are so unprepared for health disasters that they can make emergencies––i.e. “bio-terrorism attacks, outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases or pandemics”–-even worse.

Dr. Terri Rebmann of the Center’s Institute for Bio-security says the survey indicates that only 48 percent of schools deal with pandemic preparedness; and only 40 percent of schools have updated their plans since the 2009 flu pandemic that hit some 214 countries. “Schools need to have a written pandemic plan in order to be prepared to put interventions into place quickly when an event occurs.”

Survey results, published in the ‘American Journal of Infection Control,” also found that 44 percent of schools “do not participate in community surveillance that tracks the presence of a disease based upon symptoms reported by area residents.”  School presence is vital in such efforts because local public health departments assess and issue information about coming biological threats.

How could the richest nation on earth, so underfund its public schools that they either share or have no nurses.  If schools are not involved in planning for epidemics, then what institutions are?  What other places have the most vulnerable people––our children––in continuing close contact for most hours in a day?

When The LORD Jesus said “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19: 14),” He certainly didn’t mean expose them to disease and let them die!  How shameful that Christian home decor may hang this verse on walls, but not follow it with practice!

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