Monday, July 03, 2006

Bird Flu note

H5N1 blog points to Larimer County Pandemic Influenza Planning Partnership as a model for local sharing of information and organization management in the event of a pandemic. Larimer County, Colorado, is getting a head start, not just for bird flu but any kind of disaster than might befall the community. Very impressive. I don't know how much of the material is being read and studied, but just having it available puts them ahead of the game. Consider this cheerful bit of forensic science I found just drilling around in the links...

After the tsunami disaster on 26 December 2004, we conducted three descriptive case studies to systematically document how the dead were managed in Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. We considered the following parameters: body recovery and storage, identification, disposal of human remains, and health risks from dead bodies. We used participant observations as members of post-tsunami response teams, conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants, and collected information from published and unpublished documents.

Refrigeration for preserving human remains was not available soon enough after the disaster, necessitating the use of other methods such as dry ice or temporary burial. No country had sufficient forensic capacity to identify thousands of victims. Rapid decomposition made visual identification almost impossible after 24–48 h. In Thailand, most forensic identification was made using dental and fingerprint data. Few victims were identified from DNA. Lack of national or local mass fatality plans further limited the quality and timeliness of response, a problem which was exacerbated by the absence of practical field guidelines or an international agency providing technical support.

Etc. Etc.
Well, hey! These things have to be thought out ahead of time, don't they?

The guy that has been keeping up the H5N1 blog has also been doing yoeman's work. The sidebars at that site offer a trove of links for anyone, lay or professional, who wants to know something about bird flu and pandemic management.

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