Friday, February 23, 2007

Former CDC Director Talks About Pandemics


# 495



Dr. Jerffrey Koplan spent two decades working at the CDC, and became that agency's director in 1998, a post he held for four years.  Today he is Vice President of Health Affairs at Emory University. 


The entire article is worthy of reading.  Note that the mortality figures quoted in the article for the US  are 3 times higher than the 2 million we normally hear.  Six million in the United States. 


A year ago, some officials were still clinging to the 2-7 million deaths worldwide scenario, with a few hundred thousand deaths in the United States


Of course, for this virus only to claim 2% of its victims, it would have to lose about 90% of its lethality when it achieves pandemic status. Today, it has killed more than 60% of those we know to have been infected.





Disease expert pushes pandemic plans


Article Last Updated: 02/23/2007 12:25:47 AM EST


NEW HAVEN — The former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts a pandemic flu that will cause a tsunami-like "disruption of goods and services" so intense it sweeps away the "staples of modern life."


Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, who headed the CDC during the SARS outbreak of 2002-03, on Thursday urged Connecticut's college administrators to draft their own plans for dealing with pandemics, rather than try to graft some other agency's ideas onto their institutions.


"It has to be your own," he said. It also must be dynamic and revised regularly.


Colleges and universities must consider factors such as whether they have on-campus infirmaries and whether students live on-campus, Koplan told the 300 academic administrators and health officials at the forum, "A Case Study for Campus Pandemic Flu Planning." It was organized by Yale University and held at Southern Connecticut State University.


Koplan said the affects of a major flu pandemic would be felt far outside the academic world.


If the H5N1 strain of influenza — commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu" — now circulating in Asia reached the United States and spread as a pandemic, Yale estimates 25 percent of the nation's population would be infected.


Half would require medical care with 22 percent requiring hospitalization, in some cases in an intensive-care unit. The mortality rate would be high — 6 million, or 2 percent of those infected, according to the Yale projections, based on a World Health Organization report.



Note:  There appears to be some inconsistancies in the numbers quoted in this article.  I'm going to try to find the study they used, and track it down.  Obviously,  a 25 percent attack rate would mean 75 million infections.  A 2% CFR would mean only 1.5 million deaths