NC State Updates H1N1 Protocols

(August/2009) The NC OEMS has released 2 new protocols related to the H1N1 influenza.

The Suspected Influenza Protocol has been revised addressing the use of N-95 masks. Additional content clarification has been inserted as well.

A new protocol for Immunization/Medication Distribution has been released. This protocols allows EMS Systems to assist local health departments with immunization programs or medication distribution.

Copies of both protocols are attached. They also can be found at http://www.ncems.org/nccepprotocols.html

Emergency Planning for At-Risk Groups

 

 

 

 

This toolkit provides guidance to planners for identifying, engaging, communicating with and providing services to at-risk populations during public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza.

Who should use this toolkit?
While the toolkit was primarily designed for planners at local health departments, planners at other emergency response agencies and organizations may find these materials useful.

What topics are addressed by the toolkit?
The toolkit covers 5 areas of preparedness for at-risk populations developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). These areas are: 1) collaboration with and engagement of at-risk populations; 2) identifying at-risk populations; 3) communication with and education of at-risk populations; 4) provision of services (clinical and non-clinical); and 5) how to test, exercise, measure, and improve preparedness of at-risk populations.

What is included for each topic?
The toolkit contains 10 examples of local initiatives that have strengthened disaster preparedness and response for at-risk populations. For each local initiative, an audio clip with key contacts is provided to describe the activity and ways in which it was implemented.

Additional sections in each of the 5 main topic areas include “Tips and Suggested Planning Activities” and a “Topic Spotlight,” which provide practical guidelines for local planners interested in at-risk population planning.

The toolkit also includes ready-to-use PowerPoint templates that may be customized for presentations to at-risk groups or partner organizations in the community to obtain support for planning activities.

Who developed this toolkit?
This toolkit was developed in the spring of 2009 by the North Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness (NCCPHP) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in partnership with the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the North Carolina Division of Public Health. If you have questions or comments about this project, please contact NCCPHP at 919-843-5561 or nccphp@unc.edu.

How was the toolkit developed?
NCCPHP conducted 5 focus groups with local planners at sites around the state of North Carolina from December 2008 through February 2009 to obtain key information about existing gaps in resources and perceived barriers to planning. One key theme from the focus groups was the lack of information on promising practices for at-risk population planning at local health departments in North Carolina. In response to this expressed need, NCCPHP solicited North Carolina local health departments and emergency management agencies for planning tools and success stories to include in the toolkit.

American Ambulance Association (AAA) issues update on N95 vs P100 masks

AAA Letter to Membership

 

 

 

CDC Confirmed Cases of H1N1 swine origin influenza in the U.S.
As of 1100 on May 7, 2009
Confirmed Cases= 896
Deaths= 2

MEMBER ADVISORY: RESPIRATORY PROTECTION H1N1 FLU

Recently, confusion has emerged from the labor sector regarding the use of N95 masks versus P100 filtering face pieces in the context of the currently H1N1 flu outbreak. In response, OSHA has published a clarification. In short, N95 masks remain the recommended level of respiratory protection for pandemic influenza.

N 95 versus P 100 filtering face pieces for EMS personnel
A concern has been raised that Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel should be wearing P100 filtering face piece respirators (FFR) instead of N95 filtering face piece respirators as the minimum respiratory protection required during a pandemic influenza crisis. The filter efficiency of a P100 FFR is greater than that of an N95 only when the great majority of the particulates it encounters are concentrated at the most penetrating particle size of 0.3 microns.

That is where filter efficiency would have a significant impact on penetration into the respirator. Once the particle size of infectious particles and droplets encountered increase in size slightly, the efficiency of an N95 filter rapidly approaches that of the P100 filter. The distribution of particles from coughs and sneezes of pandemic flu infected individuals is not predominately in the most penetrating particle size range, and particles are readily captured by either an N95 or P100 filter.

Both the N95 FFR and the P100 FFR have the same Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10. The actions that most impact the level of protection that EMS personnel receive against pandemic influenza are obtaining a proper face piece fit consistently, and performing fit testing to make sure that the best fitting respirator has been selected.

It is the quality of the face piece fit that can most greatly impact the protection provided by any respirator. A P100 FFR can increase breathing resistance for the wearer and could result in increased leakage past the face seal for an improperly fitting respirator. The N95 and P100 filters have both been shown to be effective in controlling exposures to bacterial and viral particles in the atmosphere.

Therefore, OSHA has recommended the fit tested N95 filtering face piece respirator used within the context of a respiratory protection program as the minimum level of respiratory protection for pandemic flu.

Office of Emergency Management
Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management
US Department of Labor/OSHA
200 Constitution Are NW RM N3655
Washington, DC 20210

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) CDC Update 4 May, 2009 1858

CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to an expanding outbreak caused by novel H1N1 flu.

CDC’s response goals are to:

1. Reduce transmission and illness severity, and
2. Provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.

CDC continues to issue and update interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation. CDC will issue updated interim guidance for clinicians on how to identify and care for people who are sick with novel H1N1 flu illness. This guidance will provide priorities for testing and treatment for novel H1N1 flu infection. The priority use for influenza antiviral drugs during this outbreak will be to treat people with severe flu illness.

CDC has completed deployment of 25 percent of the supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to all states in the continental United States. These supplies and medicines will help states and U.S. territories respond to the outbreak. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against the novel H1N1 flu virus.

Response actions are aggressive, but they may vary across states and communities depending on local circumstances. Communities, businesses, places of worship, schools and individuals can all take action to slow the spread of this outbreak. People who are sick are urged to stay home from work or school and to avoid contact with others, except to seek medical care. This action can avoid spreading illness further.

CDC H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Update Saturday 2 May

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
Last updated May 2, 2009, 1:30 pm ET

CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to an expanding outbreak caused by H1N1 (swine flu).
CDC’s response goals are to:

1. Reduce transmission and illness severity, and
2. Provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.

CDC continues to issue and update interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation. This includes guidance on when to close schools and how to care for someone who is sick at home. Supplies from CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) are being sent to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against this new virus.
Response actions are aggressive, but they may vary across states and communities depending on local circumstances. Communities, businesses, places of worship, schools and individuals can all take action to slow the spread of this outbreak. People who are sick are urged to stay home from work or school and to avoid contact with others, except to seek medical care. This action can avoid spreading illness further.