Infection Control: Preparing for Outbreaks and Catastrophes
The 2019 National Health Security Preparedness Index1 brought good news and bad news. The bad news is that 2018 was an extraordinary year for disasters, with hurricanes, storms, floods, fires, and extreme temperatures throughout the nation. The nation also faced outbreaks of hepatitis A and measles, the continuing rise in opioid deaths, as well as mass violence at schools, churches, and elsewhere.
Because where or when these events will happen usually cannot be anticipated, nor can it be foreseen how destructive they will be, “protections need to be available ‘everywhere’ in order to prevent disease and injury ‘anywhere.’”2…
…A number of factors contribute to the frequency and intensity of health-security threats, both in the U.S. and globally.3
Who needs to be involved?
You’ve heard the expression “it takes a village to raise a child”; well, it takes a village to respond to disasters and outbreaks, too. Some experts weighed in on what is needed and who should be involved in preparations for the unexpected on a large scale.
Beth Krah, Owner and CEO, activTek Health Solutions, commented, “By nature, the term ‘disaster’ explodes outside the confines of any box, so our strategy in planning needs to outwit any disaster. The key is not only establishing strong relationships between each department within the facility, but with first responders, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corp officers, the private sector, etc.