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Public health preparedness for the 2010 Shanghai Expo Mass Gathering

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Mark Edward Keim
added 3 research items
Mass Gatherings and Public Health Mass gatherings are highly visible events with the potential for serious health and political consequences if not managed carefully and effectively.¹⁻⁴ Mass gatherings have been reported to have significant impact upon public health systems throughout the world.⁵⁻¹⁰ International mass gathering events, such as those associated with the Olympic Games, often carry high political significance and have a historical risk for terrorist attacks.² Mass gatherings ranging from the subnational level to international the level have also been associated with outbreaks and subsequent spread of communicable diseases. These events have included outbreaks of foodborne shigellosis occurring at an outdoor music festival in the United States.⁵,⁶ The annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has been plagued by public health threats such as fires, stampedes and an outbreak of meningitis.⁷,⁹ Influenza outbreaks were also reported during the 2008 World Youth Day mass gathering in Australia.¹⁰ Local, provincial and national public health and medical agencies are frequently involved before, during and after a major event. Therefore, disaster risk reduction is a key element for the effective management of mass gatherings. Disaster Risk Reduction Throughout the world, the overall approach to emergencies and disasters has recently shifted from post-impact activities (i.e., ad hoc relief and reconstruction) to a more systematic and comprehensive process of risk management.¹¹ Disaster risk management includes pre-impact disaster risk reduction (i.e., prevention, preparedness and mitigation) as well as post-impact response and recovery).¹² While planners may not always have the ability to prevent health hazards from occurring at mass gathering events, the health sector can play an important role in preventing the public health impact of such hazards. This manuscript describes a comprehensive approach for disaster risk reduction as implemented by those entities responsible for health security associated with the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition (Shanghai Expo).
Reports of health issues related to mass gatherings around the world have indicated a potential for public health and medical emergencies to occur on a scale that could place a significant impact on business continuity for national and international organisations. This paper describes a risk assessment process for business continuity management that was performed as part of the planning efforts related to the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Expo), the world's largest mass gathering to date. Altogether, 73 million visitors attended the Expo, generating over US$2bn of revenue. During 2008 to 2010, the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention performed a dynamic series of four disaster risk assessments before and during the Expo. The purpose of this assessment process was to identify, analyse and evaluate risks for public health security during different stages of the Expo. This paper describes an overview of the novel approach for this multiple and dynamic process of assessment of health security risk for ensuring business continuity.
The 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai China (Expo) was the largest mass gathering in world history, attracting a record 72 million visitors. More than 190 countries participated in the Expo, along with more than 50 international organizations. The 2010 Expo was six months in duration (May 1 through October 30, 2010), and the size of the venue site comprised 5.28 square kilometers. Great challenges were imposed on the public health system in Shanghai due to the high number and density of visitors, long duration of the event, and other risk factors such as high temperatures, typhoon, etc.As the major metropolitan public health agency in Shanghai, the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (SCDC) implemented a series of actions in preparing for, and responding to, the potential health impact of the world's largest mass gathering to date, which included partnerships for capacity building, enhancement of internal organizational structure, risk assessment, strengthened surveillance, disaster planning and exercises, laboratory management, vaccination campaign, health education, health intervention, risk communication and mass media surveillance, and technical support for health inspection. The clear-cut organizational structures and job responsibilities, as well as comprehensive operational and scientific preparations, were key elements to ensure the success of the 2010 World Exposition. H Yi, Y Zheng'an, W Fan, G Xiang, D Chen, H Yongchao, S Xiaodong, P Hao, M Mahany, M Keim. Public health preparedness for the world's largest mass gathering: 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai, China. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(6):1-6.