IAEMSC Influenza Guidance Updates

By International Association of EMS Chiefs

This has become quite the busy day for IAEMSC. For the better part of this Sunday the Executive Committee has been swamped with a flurry of calls and teleconferences with influenza experts, representatives of the Public Health community, WHO and other governmental entities from around the world.

Afterwards the Executive Committee convened formally on a teleconference at 19:30 hours to further discuss the influenza emergence, consider the technical advice that we have been provided, examine a variety of guidance documents, historical reports from events such as the Toronto EMS experience with SARS and lastly a number of agency protocols for response to these types of events. Perhaps some of the most valuable information and insight we culled came directly from Chiefs in NYC, Texas, and in Mexico who are dealing with these cases first hand.

AP Photo/Alberto Saiz A medical staff member, left, leads two patients who are undergoing tests for the swine flu virus at a hospital in Valencia, Spain Monday.

AP Photo/Alberto Saiz
A medical staff member, left, leads two patients who are undergoing tests for the swine flu virus at a hospital in Valencia, Spain Monday.

The attached documents are for your review and guidance when assessing existing response protocols and making command decisions on actions that might be required of your respective agencies.

As of this writing the media is starting to amplify the noise on this incident and it is important to IAEMSC that we provide our members with more "signal" and filter the noise out there. If you have seen the news before you have read your email this morning — you already will probably have heard of several other nations across the globe starting to report possible cases — most if not all are relational to travel to Mexico. Presently the media is claiming that Mexico's Health Minister has reported the death toll above 100 with an additional 1,300+ that are believed to be infected. The US is reporting only 20 cases — no deaths and other nations waiting for lab results to confirm or decline the diagnosis.

IAEMSC will continue to participate in the various forums and report back to the EMS Chiefs as actionable information becomes available. In the mean time please remain vigilant, review your response protocols and ramp up your interactions with the local public health liaison to accurately remain current on evolving events.

As we work through these issues, should events become amplified, we will convene a members conference call with various public health, behavioral and legal specialists as well as your EMS Chief peers on line to examine the issues and discuss this matter as a group.

If you have any questions or need sample protocols or special orders — please feel free to email any of the IAEMSC officers for assistance.

Download: IAEMSC Recommended Planning for Pandemic Influenza Readiness
Download: IAEMSC Pandemic Flu Reference Sheet

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