Influenza Pandemic – Virus Example

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"Influenza Pandemic" is a wonderful example of a paper on virus. The center for disease control and prevention (CDC) developed the influenza operation plan (OPLAN) which is mandated to fight the outbreak of infectious diseases including influenza. However, the plan has its own strengths and weaknesses. This paper is going to focus on the weakness of OPLAN in relation to controlling influenza outbreaks. Fact that influence is a very communicable disease, it is important to initiate and instill a plan of action. The US government agency dealing with this is the center for disease control and prevention (CDC) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

CDC developed the influenza Pandemic Operation Plan (OPLAN) as a tool for fighting the outbreak of infectious disease (CDC, 2008). The concepts of its success include early recognition and reporting of a human outbreak, containment, suppression and delay of further spread of the outbreak through rapid assistance, provision of the vaccine when available, and provision of anti-viral medication (CDC, 2008). The rationale of weaknesses of the plan However, although OPLAN is seen as a useful tool in controlling influenza, it has several inconsistencies which were reported in the plan.

According to its model of operation, OPLAN only assumes an outbreak originating from other countries entering the United States through infected persons (Bartlett & Borio, 2008). While this model of controlling influenza is important, it failed to focus on other areas like foreseeing outbreaks originating within the United States territories. In case of any outbreak emanating from within the country, it would be more difficult to contain since much attention is concentrated on cases emanating from other countries (Bartlett & Borio, 2008).

At the same time, preparation for vaccines would be a bit complex due to restrictions on the preparation and delivery of the medical process. Another concern is on authenticity and applicability of the written action plan. It is always important to keep on revising the old written action plan in order to update it to comply with new epidemic cases that may arise (Bartlett & Borio, 2008). In this case, it would be of great importance to revise some restrictions in relation to existing restrictions for better response in case of emergencies.

On the other hand, a constant effort to improve the existing action plan must be accompanied by precise pharmaceutical research. Sufficient funds to implement the plan must be in place. Studies must come up with a model of operation whereby the most prone areas would be given more attention. CDC and the WHO should also ensure that the plan is extended to other nations especially the developing countries. This way, transmissions originating from these countries would be contained. One of the weakest areas of the plan is how different states manage antiviral and vaccine distribution (Jennings & Monto, 2008).

Currently, each state in the United States has its own guidelines on operation procedures in the event of an epidemic, something that may contradict modes of operation in case of the emergence of the epidemic (CDC, 2008). It would also be difficult to implement a preparedness and communication strategy. A central authority mandated to oversee national wide operations would be more appropriate to handle epidemic cases. Although CDC may enjoy its success in containing influenza pandemic within and along United States borders as its mission states that it would delay the introduction and transmission of viruses in the united states, all other countries face considerable challenges and which might not be having the capacity to contain it.

In this regard, the virus may be transmitted faster around these countries and this may pose a much bigger threat to the United States as well (Jennings & Monto, 2008). Therefore, it is important to focus on other nations’ welfare in relation to their capacity to contain the epidemic.   Conclusion It is apparent that the OPLAN only assumes an outbreak originating from other countries entering the United States through infected persons.

However, it failed to focus on other areas like foreseeing outbreaks originating within the United States territories. Another concern is on authenticity and applicability of the written action plan. It is always important to keep on revising the old written action plan in order to update it to comply with new epidemic cases that may arise. Another weakest area of the plan is how different states manage antiviral and vaccine distribution.

In this case, it would be of great importance to revise some restrictions in relation to existing restrictions for better response in case of emergencies.                              

References

Bartlett, J., and Borio, L. (2008). The Current Status of Planning for Pandemic Influenza and Implications for Health Care Planning in the United States. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2008, 46, 919–925.

Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2008). CDC Influenza Pandemic Operation Plan (OPLAN). Retrieved from:http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic/cdcplan.htm://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic/cdcplan.htm

Jennings, L., and Monto, A. (2008). Stockpiling prepandemic influenza vaccines: A new cornerstone of pandemic preparedness plans. Lancet Infect Dis 2008; 8, 650-658

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