Preparing for and Responding to Pandemic Influenza: Implications for People With Disabilities
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, MS-E-88, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 10/2009; 99 Suppl 2(S2):S294-300. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.162677
State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers and public health officials must address the specific needs of people with disabilities in their pandemic influenza plans. Evidence from Hurricane Katrina indicated that this population was disproportionately affected by the storm and aftermath. People with disabilities, particularly those who require personal assistance and those who reside in congregate care facilities, may be at increased risk during an influenza pandemic because of disrupted care or the introduction of the virus by their caregivers. Emergency and public health planners must ensure that personal assistance agencies and congregate care operators make provisions for backup staffing and that those who provide critical care are given adequate antiviral drugs and vaccines as they become available.
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ABSTRACT: Protecting vulnerable populations from pandemic influenza is a strategic imperative. The US national strategy for pandemic influenza preparedness and response assigns roles to governments, businesses, civic and community-based organizations, individuals, and families. Because influenza is highly contagious, inadequate preparedness or untimely response in vulnerable populations increases the risk of infection for the general population. Recent public health emergencies have reinforced the importance of preparedness and the challenges of effective response among vulnerable populations. We explore definitions and determinants of vulnerable, at-risk, and special populations and highlight approaches for ensuring that pandemic influenza preparedness includes these populations and enables them to respond appropriately. We also provide an overview of population-specific and cross-cutting articles in this theme issue on influenza preparedness for vulnerable populations.American Journal of Public Health 10/2009; 99 Suppl 2:S243-8. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2009.164814 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the psychosocial health of people with disabilities and on the ability of people with disabilities in the affected area to live independently. Transcribed conversations were analyzed for 56 survivors of Hurricane Katrina on the American Gulf Coast, all of whom were persons with disabilities or persons working with them. Semi-structured interviews were conducted either individually or in focus groups with participants. Qualitative analysis was undertaken using hermeneutic techniques. Six major themes emerged: faith, incredulousness, blaming others or oneself, family adaptation and resiliency, and work and professional responsibility. The resiliency of persons with disabilities to adapt to disasters can be better understood through factors such as these, providing an effective barometer of social capital that can help societies prepare for future disasters among those most vulnerable.Rehabilitation Psychology 08/2010; 55(3):231-40. DOI:10.1037/a0020321 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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