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Public Health Preparedness

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Mission Statement

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Protect the health and safety of Lee County’s residents by assuring that the necessary preparedness and response capacity exists in the event of a disaster whether natural or man made.

Lee County Public Health Preparedness Team

Health care providers should immediately call the Lee County Health Department if they suspect a serious or life-threatening communicable disease at 1-919-718-4640.

Public health emergency preparedness involves planning and implementing programs to rapidly detect, investigate and control a number of threats that may endanger the health of the public. These threats include emerging infectious diseases, disease outbreaks, pandemics, chemical or radiological exposures, and bioterrorism. The Health Department is working with medical and emergency response partners at the Local, State, and Federal levels to ensure the most effective response to public health threats. http://www.nchan.org/

Preparedness for public health emergencies is a priority for the Lee County Health Department. To help you better understand and plan for public health emergencies, we have provided the following links for further information:

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Be Prepared, Be Informed

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Information for Clinicians

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Point-of-Dispensing Sites (PODS)

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PANDEMIC FLU and AVIAN FLU Links

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Public Health Preparedness

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Since September 11, 2001, and the anthrax incidents that followed, public health and hospitals have been thrust to the forefront of preparedness. Great strides have been made in Lee County's Public Health Preparedness efforts. The public health system is more prepared now than it has ever been before. Public Health is better equipped, has improved its response plans, is planning regionally as well as locally, is training staff and is exercising their public health response plans across the state.

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Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

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The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a national repository of critical medical supplies designed to supplement and resupply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency anywhere and at any time within the United States or its territories. The goal of the SNS program is to provide rapid delivery of SNS lifesaving pharmaceuticals to any location within all U.S. states and territories within 12 hours or less from the federal decision to deploy. The SNS program is managed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is carried out in conjunction with the North Carolina Division of Public Health and Local Public Health Departments. SNS only distributes medical supplies—it does not operate mass casualty centers.

The SNS contains multiple caches of medical supplies stored in warehouses in different regions across the country. These caches include antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, intravenous (IV) administration, airway and maintenance supplies and medical/surgical items.

For more information visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/stockpile/index.asp

Depending on the nature of the outbreak, Public Health Officials may decide to activate a mass clinic. Some reasons to activate a mass clinic include: if the number of cases is high, if outbreaks occur in a number of locations, and/or if the outbreaks continue to grow despite all attempts to contain the spread. In the event of a mass clinic, an entire community or even the entire county’s population may become infected or exposed to an act of bioterrorism or infectious disease and must receive vaccination or prophylaxis.

Using the Incident Command System, the SNS Plan is an organized approach to receive and distribute oral antibiotics or vaccines to an entire county’s population.

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Pandemic Influenza Plan

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All Public Health experts agree, a Pandemic Influenza is inevitable and to some extent, everyone will be affected by the pandemic. The first wave of a pandemic may last from 1-3 months, while the entire pandemic may last for 2-3 years. Local, State and Federal Health Officials have been aggressively planning with other healthcare partners for a pandemic influenza. Local Public Health Department plans are integrated with the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) plan to include guidelines for Command and Control, Surveillance, Communication, Emergency Response, Vaccine and Antiviral Medications.

For more information visit:http://www.flu.gov/

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RELATED LINKS