Emergency Management

Infectious Disease/Pandemic

It should be noted that this plan, while written for a “worst-case” of avian pandemic, may also be applied to other infectious diseases. These diseases, while not pandemic in scope, can be sufficient to activate the Emergency Operations Plan. They have the capacity to disrupt college operations and cause significant loss of resources.

This plan or policy is written with the worst case in mind, but recognizes the appropriate response is incident-specific in the level of response.

 

General Information
Avian influenza is a viral disease transmitted by birds usually through feces or saliva. It is not usually passed on to humans, although it has been contracted by people who have handled infected birds or touched surfaces contaminated by the birds. In fact, avian (or H5N1) flu normally infects only birds and pigs.

There are many different types of viruses and of these viruses, there are 15 subtypes. These form various combinations that are constantly changing. Our bodies develop immunity to these viruses and when we receive our annual flu shot, this boosts our immunity. But when a virus such as H5N1 comes along, it may merge with a flu that a human body already has and develop (or mutate) into a whole other subtype for which our body has not built immunity. This, then, is what has prompted the concerns of the public health community.

The H5N1 virus is particularly contagious among birds and some strains are resistant to antiviral drugs. It has developed into an outbreak in domestic birds in many Asian countries. Among the humans who have been diagnosed with the disease, the mortality rate is almost fifty percent.

The first sign of this flu is sudden, unexplained fever. What follows is slightly different for each person: For some, it’s body aches, cough and runny nose. For others, it’s diarrhea and vomiting. Several days after the first symptoms, respiratory problems will develop.

 

Procedures
Actions of College personnel will be dictated by the confirmation of the main trigger in an avian flu pandemic—human-to-human transmission.  For the purposes of this document, “human-to-human transmission” means the common, efficient, and sustained transmission of the avian flu virus from one human to another.
The Rollins Pandemic Preparedness Plan to follow is divided into the following action levels:

• Baseline Activities:  Pre-event planning to any human-to-human transmission.
• Level 1:  Confirmed case of any human-to-human transmission of avian flu anywhere in the world.
• Level 2:  Confirmed case of any human-to-human transmission of avian flu anywhere in the United States.

 

Critical Departments and Groups

The following departments/groups have been deemed critical, in that the functions of these departments cannot be temporarily suspended in the event of an avian flu pandemic:
• Academic Divisions and Departments
• Athletics
• Avian Flu Sub-Committee
• Bookstore
• Campus Safety
• Counseling and Psychological Services
• Crummer School
• Dining Services
• Dubois Health Center
• Facilities Management
• Finance
• Hamilton Holt School
• Human Resources/Risk Management
• Information Technology
• International Programs
• Post Office
• President’s Staff
• Print Shop
• Public Relations
• Purchasing
• Receiving
• Residential Life
• Special Programs (Summer Camps, Conferences, and Rentals)

 

Critical Department/Group Responsibilities

All departments and groups deemed “critical College departments” (e.g. departments/groups whose functions cannot be suspended temporarily in the event of an avian flu pandemic) should be annually reviewing their avian flu preparedness plans and updating them accordingly.  These plans should include current information which:
• Plans for disruptions of up to 12 weeks at a time over an 18 month period.
• Defines “critical functions” within each critical department/group.
• Identifies individuals who are capable of performing these critical functions.
• Accounts for the possibility of a 40% to 50% reduction in the College workforce.