Environmental Health – Profoundly Local & Profoundly Useful | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/michaelgeorgeau
Healthcare

Environmental Health – Profoundly Local & Profoundly Useful

by David Dyjack -

Nutrition, community resilience, and poverty are just a few factors that are of great importance to public health professionals, which include representatives for maternal and child health, preparedness, nutrition, epidemiology, and land use planning, among others. However, the second largest segment of the public health workforce – the environmental health (EH) profession – bridges the gaps within the public health discipline as well as between public health and other disciplinary sectors.

 
Healthcare

Combating Pandemic Threats – Global Health Security Agenda

by Gary A. Flory -

On 6-8 November 2018, global health leaders from around the globe met in Bali, Indonesia, for the 5th Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meeting. At the meeting, the GHSA launched a five-year plan to address health security issues called GHSA 2024 and U.S. Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan reaffirmed U.S. support for the GHSA with a pledge of $150 million. This global efforts and this commitment of resources to strengthen the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases are clearly needed.

Healthcare

Food Safety Alert: Recurring E. Coli Outbreaks

by Lindsay Fahnestock & Gagandeep Gill -

Food is essential to life. Its production, distribution, and consumption present unique – and increasingly urgent – economic and public health challenges. Roughly 50% of the world’s assets, 50% of global employment, and 50% of consumer expenditures are related to the food system. Closer to home, the second and third largest employers in the United States are in the food industry. About one-third of Americans eat at least one meal away from home each day. Anticipation, evaluation, and control of food-related infections and contamination are essential functions provided by the governmental public health system.

Commentary

Combating Public Health & Security Concerns

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In 2014, the United States was directly exposed to the Ebola virus, which was at that time relatively unknown on domestic soil. The nation was underprepared to manage the public relations issues associated with this scenario. Since that time, roundtables have been conducted, responder trainings have been created, and information has been disseminated to better prepare responders and inform the public. However, there is a delicate balance when informing the public of potential threats: provide enough information to mitigate new exposure risks, but do not overhype the threat.

Healthcare

Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Commentary

by The Global Health Security Alliance (GloHSA) -

On 6 November 2018, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) might not be contained due to lack of cooperation from local communities and an unstable security situation. Assertions such as these have driven the Global Health Security Alliance, an independent network of internationals experts, to distribute a commentary about the “Ebola Outbreak in the DRC.” Driven by the shared understanding that health and security issues have increasing and interrelated global impacts, the Alliance separates facts from hyperboles in this informative document on this international public health threat.

Commentary

A 2017 Best Practice for Private Sector Communications

by Kathryn Howard & Ira Tannenbaum -

Coordination between the public and private sectors are essential for communicating effectively to the public during emergencies. It is important for government agencies to build relationships with private partners during “blue skies” to ensure that proper plans and messaging are in place in the event of an actual emergency. New York City (NYC) Emergency Management has worked extensively to build a robust network of private partners from various industries that can assist with the dissemination of critical information to the public before, during, and after emergencies. In 2017, NYC Emergency Management conducted a communication drill with private sector partners to test the potential reach of New York City’s emergency messaging.

Healthcare

Courses That Mirror Real-World Ebola Outbreak

by Center for Domestic Preparedness -

When faced with cases of highly infectious diseases, emergency responders and medical receivers need to know how to protect themselves and prevent the disease from spreading to others. One training facility is focusing on this topic with courses that instruct healthcare workers and other responders about infection-control barrier guidelines and isolation protocols.

Updates

TSA Releases Cybersecurity Roadmap

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its Cybersecurity Roadmap, which will guide efforts to prioritize cybersecurity measures within TSA and across the transportation systems sector. The roadmap is the agency’s first, and closely aligns with the DHS Cybersecurity Strategy published earlier in 2018. It stresses the inextricable risks to critical cyber and physical transportation infrastructure, and provides a way forward to improve and protect the systems from threats.

Coast Guard, DHS S&T Venture Into Space With Polar Scout Launch

Coast Guard Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Program – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) – launched two 6U CubeSats from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch is part of the Polar Scout project to evaluate the effectiveness of space-based sensors in support of Arctic search and rescue missions. Knowledge gained from this demonstration will be used to inform satellite technology recommendations for many potential applications within the Coast Guard and across DHS.

Operation Shortbread Is Not Your ‘Cookie Cutter’ MCM Exercise

In an emergency, health departments might activate a point-of-dispensing location (POD) to dispense medical countermeasures (MCMs) in the form of medicines – including antibiotics, vaccines, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates MCMs, which are used to diagnose, prevent, protect against, or treat people in a public health emergency. CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program supports state and local jurisdictions in their work to strengthen their ability to receive, distribute, and dispense MCMs during emergencies.

Reinventing Drug Discovery and Development for Military Needs

Military service members face conditions that place unique burdens on their individual physiology. The potential exists to develop pharmacological interventions to help service members complete their toughest missions more safely and efficiently, and then recover more quickly and without adverse effects. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created the Panacea program to pursue the means of rapidly discovering, designing, and validating new, multi-target drugs that work with the body’s complexity to better support the physiological resilience and recovery of military service members.

Clinical Trial of Investigational Ebola Treatments Begins in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

An international research team has begun patient enrollment in a clinical trial testing multiple investigational Ebola therapies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The randomized, controlled trial is enrolling patients of any age with confirmed Ebola virus disease at a treatment unit in the city of Beni operated by ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action), a medical humanitarian organization.