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Infectious Disease Plan

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Policy 302.5

1 Introduction

1.1 Infectious diseases such as Avian Flu and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) can spread very quickly to become a pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world is overdue for the next influenza pandemic. The threat of a pandemic influenza is not as much a question of if, but when.

1.2 The web pages, which are accessed under the menu item "Pandemic: Infectious Disease," are taken directly from the Infectious Disease Pandemic Response Plan for Appalachian State University. This plan was updated in December 2006.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students of Appalachian State University.

3 Definitions

3.1 Pandemic

is an epidemic of infectious disease that could spread through human populations across a region

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Pandemic Phases

Pandemic Phases as identified by the World Health Organization (WHO):

4.1.1 Inter-pandemic Period

  1. Phase 1: No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. An influenza virus subtype that has caused human infection may be present in animals. If present in animals, the risk to human infection or disease is considered to be low.
  2. Phase 2: No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. However, a circulating animal influenza virus subtype poses a substantial risk of human disease.

4.1.2 Pandemic Alert Period

  1. Phase 3: Human infection(s) with a new subtype but no human-to-human spread or at most rare instances of spread to a close contact.
  2. Phase 4: Small cluster(s) with limited human-to-human transmission but spread is highly localized, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans.
  3. Phase 5: Large cluster(s) but human-to-human spread is still localized, suggesting that the virus is becoming increasingly better adapted to humans but may not yet be fully transmissible (this creates a substantial pandemic risk).

4.1.3 Pandemic Period

  1. Phase 6: Pandemic phase: increased and sustained transmission in the general population.

4.1.4 Post-Pandemic Period

  1. Return to Inter-pandemic Period (Phase 1).

4.1.5 Operations During Each Phase or Period Concept of Operations During Specific Phases of a Pandemic

  1. Phases 1, 2 and 3
    1. Develop an annex to the Emergency Response Plan that addresses how the university will respond to a pandemic event.
    2. Communicate the university's pandemic response planning efforts to students, staff, faculty and parents and educate students on what they need to do individually to limit the spread of the flu (eg. wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and stay away from work or class if sick).
    3. Monitor the spread of diseases that could become pandemic through the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC, state and local health organizations.
    4. Develop a strategic plan to assure continuity of instruction in the event the university is forced to close for a long period of time.
    5. Develop continuity of operations plans for maintaining essential operations of the university during a pandemic event in which 25-33% of the employees do not report for work.
    6. Alert students (and their families), staff & faculty traveling to geographic areas where potential pandemic viruses have been isolated of the risks and precautions they should take.
  2. Phases 4 and 5 (Pandemic Alert Period)
    1. Continue to communicate and educate students, staff, faculty and parents on our pandemic response plan and what they need to do to individually to prepare and limit the spread of the flu (eg. wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and stay at home from work or class if sick).
    2. Consider cancellation of university sponsored travel to geographic areas where potential pandemic viruses have been isolated.
    3. Consider closing the Appalachian House and Loft.
    4. Departments should begin to identify and stockpile critical supplies that may be quickly consumed during a pandemic and may be difficult to obtain should the pandemic interrupt normal supply lines.
    5. Establish an ongoing communication link with state and local health agencies and emergency response agencies.
    6. Enhance surveillance among university travelers returning from geographical areas in which a potential pandemic virus has been detected.
  3. Phase 6 (Pandemic Period)
    • Cancel large gatherings on campus, such as concerts and athletic contests.
    1. Consider closing the university and sending students home before a serious campus outbreak occurs.
    2. Implement community control measures to minimize the spread of the virus, such as curfew, isolation and quarantine.
    3. Cancel university sponsored travel.
    4. Implement a work-at-home policy for non-essential staff.
    5. Establish a means of transporting sick students to and from medical facilities.
    6. Be prepared to work with local authorities to establish an alternative care medical facility on campus for community overflow patients.
    7. Establish and publicize distribution plans for antiviral medication and flu vaccines by priority groups as directed by the NC Department of Health & Human Services.
    8. Be prepared to provide security for flu vaccine and anti-viral distribution sites on campus.

4.1.6 CDC Flu-Aid Model Estimates The estimates below are based upon an average of high risk & non-risk mean rates per 1000 for 0-18 and 19-64 year olds:

  1. Student population 13,850 (the number enrolled for fall semester 2006)
    1. Outpatient visits - 4,955
    2. Hospitalizations - 54
    3. Deaths - 22
  2. Staff/Faculty population - 2,800 (used 19-64 yr. old mean rate)
    1. Outpatient visits - 241
    2. Hospitalizations - 6
    3. Deaths - 4

4.2 Departmental Planning

4.2.1 Critical Supplies Each department is responsible for developing a list of their critical supplies (supplies that may be needed during a pandemic and/or may be difficult to obtain in the event normal supply distribution systems are disrupted) and coordinating the purchase of these supplies with the Director of Materials Management (Purchasing Office) once the pandemic reaches Phase 5.

4.2.2 Quarantine and Isolation Sites The Director of Health Services in coordination with the Health Department will identify isolation and quarantine sites. Food Services and Housing and Residence Life will be responsible for providing basic services to the students located in these sites.

4.2.3 Continuity Plans for Maintaining Essential Operations The university considers all departments that make up the Operations Group to be essential. Each department's continuity of operations plan for maintaining essential operations is attached as an enclosure to this Annex. Specific departmental planning priorities are not available online.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates