Monday, February 27, 2012

7 Preparing for an Epidemic Quarantine

You need to know what is on this fact sheet to deal with an epidemic. There is a lot more you will need to know. Since this particular disaster is just waiting to happen anywhere in the world, that includes you. This post is not enough information, so I have posted and have more yet to post about preparedness for epidemics.

You don't need to read all of them or learn it elsewhere, unless you want to live through an epidemic. If you are ok about dying when an epidemic hits your area, feel free to go on your way and ignore it. If that is the case you don't really need to prepare at all, because other disasters can include epidemics. Just pick where you want your headstone. You might end up in a mass grave elsewhere, however.

In case you want to live through an epidemic read on:

Understand Quarantine and Isolation

Fact Sheet
American Red Cross logo Modern quarantine is used when:
  • a person or a well-defined group of people has been exposed to a highly dangerous and highly contagious disease,
  • resources are available to care for quarantined people, and
  • resources are available to implement and maintain the quarantine and deliver essential services.
Modern quarantine includes a range of disease control strategies that may be used individually or in combination, including:
  • Short-term, voluntary home curfew.
  • Restrictions on the assembly of groups of people (for example, school events).
  • Cancellation of public events.
  • Suspension of public gatherings and closings of public places (such as theaters).
  • Restrictions on travel (air, rail, water, motor vehicle, pedestrian).
  • Closure of mass transit systems.
  • Restrictions on passage into and out of an area.
Modern quarantine is used in combination with other public health tools, such as:
  • Enhanced disease surveillance and symptom monitoring.
  • Rapid diagnosis and treatment for those who fall ill.
  • Preventive treatment for quarantined individuals, including vaccination or prophylactic treatment, depending on the disease.
Modern quarantine does not have to be absolute to be effective. Research suggests that in some cases partial quarantine (that is, quarantine of many exposed persons but not all of them) can be effective in slowing the rate of the spread of a disease, especially when combined with vaccination.
Modern quarantine is more likely to involve limited numbers of exposed persons in small areas than to involve large numbers of persons in whole neighborhoods or cities. The small areas may be thought of as "rings" drawn around individual disease cases. Examples of "rings" include:
  • People on an airplane or cruise ship on which a passenger is ill with a suspected contagious disease for which quarantine can serve to limit exposure to others.
  • People in a stadium, theater or similar setting where an intentional release of a contagious disease has occurred.
  • People who have contact with a infected person whose source of disease exposure is unknown—and therefore may be due to a covert release of a contagious disease.
In the aftermath of a disease outbreak or biological attack, there may be dozens of small "rings," each one including the people exposed to a single case of disease.
Implementation of modern quarantine requires the trust and participation of the public, who must be informed about the dangers of contagious diseases subject to quarantine before an outbreak or intentional release of biological agents, as well as during an actual event.

I am sorry if you are bored with reading about epidemics. If you want to live through one, keep reading or find the information elsewhere, the Center for Disease Control, for example.

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