Recommended epidemic control steps
A flu pandemic can be controlled through four steps that would be aimed at reducing the rate of spread of the disease and reducing its impact on the community. The steps are useful if an outbreak is detected early before it could have explosive growth (Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance, 2007). If it is severe, then the steps should be maintained and applied consistently in the community to deal with the pandemic.
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First, individuals confirmed or suspected to be affected by the avian flu virus should be isolated and treated with tested antiviral drugs. Isolation of the avian virus infected persons could be done at home or within healthcare settings, depending on how severe the disease manifests.
If it is severe, isolation should be done within healthcare settings, but mild severe cases can be isolated at home (Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance, 2007). Second, influenza infected individuals should be quarantined at home on a voluntary basis as they undergo prophylaxis using antiviral medications.
However, this could only be done if sufficient amounts of effective drugs are available (Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance, 2007). Third, students should be sent away from all learning institutions. Also, all activities that promote children coming together for social activities should be discouraged because the virus could be spread through the air quite easily.
Thus, close contact to infected persons could lead to virus transmission and infection. Fourth, measures should be adopted to reduce contact between adults in the workplace and social gatherings like meetings and church services (Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance, 2007).
When isolating and quarantining cases in flu outbreaks the following legal authorities are invoked: CDC, state, local and tribal authorities, and Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. The legal authorities are used to prevent patients from harm when they are being isolated and quarantined (CDC, 2012).
Factors to determine or deter the success of the plan
Several factors would impact the plan aimed at controlling a flu pandemic (H5N1 Avian Flu, n.d., para. 1). First, finances would have a great impact on the success of the plan. Adequate funding of the plan would result in the success of the plan while inadequate funds would make the plan fail along implementation.
Availability of healthcare providers would also determine the pace at which the pandemic control plan is implemented (H5N1 Avian Flu, n.d., para. 2). Enough personnel would ensure that the plan is successful within a short period of time. Third, collaboration with various stakeholders in the community would impact the plan.
For example, school managers would help in identifying flu cases and facilitating closure of learning institutions. Fourth, sufficient amounts of effective medications would go a long way in ensuring that isolated cases are treated (Community planning, n.d., para. 1).
Controlling the outbreak
Yes, I would control the outbreak. It would be crucial to control the outbreak to prevent it from reaching the pandemic phase 6. The outbreak could be controlled by gathering all the required resources like healthcare providers and antiviral medications. If the resources are utilized, then the outbreak could be handled and prevented from proceeding to pandemic phase 6 (Community planning, n.d., para. 1).
Improving the government’s plan
The government’s plan is a laudable approach to handling H5N1 outbreak in the society. However, I would suggest that it adopts a step that would ensure that there are strict travelling requirements in areas confirmed to have flu outbreaks. In fact, public means of transport should be discouraged because it could contribute to fast spread of the communicable disease.
CDC (2012). Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine. Web.
Community planning (n.d.). Web.
H5N1 Avian Flu (n.d.). Web.
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Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States- Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (2007). Web.