Safety

July is Bioterror Awareness Month

Hospital Safety Insider, June 25, 2014

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July is known in emergency preparedness circles as National Bioterrorism/Disaster Awareness and Education Month, and while no one group claims to be the sole sponsor of that month, it's a good time for hospitals to review their own protocols and make sure they are prepared to deal with the unthinkable.
 
Response to such an event blipped back on the radar screens of infection control experts in May as the CDC announced the first U.S. case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a virus that was first seen in camels and jumped to humans. First found in Middle Eastern healthcare workers in 2012, the illness kills about 30% of its victims, according to the CDC. The man who brought it to the U.S. was a healthcare worker who reportedly flew into Chicago and traveled by bus to Indiana before falling ill.
 
Although far from an epidemic - indeed, health officials downplay the public health hazard of the case - media reports about public concern give a little insight as to the public relations nightmare a true epidemic would cause.
 
This is an excerpt from an article in the upcoming July issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety. Visit here to log in or subscribe.

 



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