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Update on CDC's Response to Hurricane Katrina

Today's Top Messages

CDCís public health response to Hurricane Katrina is urgently focused on infection control in evacuation centers, mosquito and other vector control in communities, medical resupply to affected states from the Strategic National Stockpile, and health assessments.

CDCís public health experts deployed to states are reporting cases of acute gastroenteritis among persons being housed in evacuation centers, including Noro virus. Noro virus causes diarrheal disease, which may include nausea and vomiting. Infection control includes vigorous and consistent hand washing.

Although the possibility of an outbreak is low in a vaccinated U.S. population, it is possible that outbreaks of varicella, rubella, mumps, or measles could occur. Although measles and rubella are no longer endemic to the United States, introductions do occur, and crowded conditions would facilitate their spread. CDC recommends persons should be encouraged to be up-to-date for vaccinations and is working with affected communities to vaccinate children.

From the CDC Directorís Emergency Operations Center - P.M. Update, September 6, 2005

Top Line - Public Health

Rapid public health assessments are ongoing. Infection control in evacuation centers is a priority. CDC is helping with mosquito control strategies.

National Public Health Emergency Situation Update

  • Persons in Evacuation Centers: 229,000 people across 11 states
  • Lives saved by USCG: 22,800
  • Citizens evacuated: 273,000
  • Relief supplies: 8.5 million MREs, 15 million liters of water, 100 tons first aid supplies
  • Damage assessments: .98 million (1.25 million without power 9/5)
  • Official death numbers: AL 2, FL 11, MS 162, LA X. Total: 175

CDC Public Health Workforce Deployed in Affected Communities

  • Total: 148 (141: 9/5) including the following specialties: medical, epidemiologist, sanitation, environmental health, assessment, disease surveillance, public information and health risk communication).
  • By State: DC 3; FL 2; GA 17; LA 38 (35 09/05); MS 43 (44 9/5); TX 44 (40 9/5) AR 1 (See map for deployment locations)
  • Preparing to Deploy: 50
  • Deployed to Director’s EOC: 64 (As of 9/3)

CDC Public Health Analysis

The threat of infectious diseases in evacuation centers is a primary concern. CDC deployed staff have reported gastroenteritis, including clusters of noro virus in evacuation centers. Infection control measures in evacuation centers include rapid detection, separating ill patients and families from the general shelter population and vigorous and consistent handwashing.

CDC is working with local and state public health officials and clinicians in shelters to conduct rapid disease detection and ongoing disease surveillance.

CDC is encouraging up to date vaccinations for persons living in shelters and is assisting local and state public health officials to screen and vaccinate children and adults living in evacuation centers.

Vector Control: Mosquito and vector control is an urgent concern in affected communities where stagnant water has pooled. CDC is developing mosquito control strategies, including working with other agencies as they conduct aerial spraying and guidance on vector control activities.

CDC’s environmental and occupational health specialists are providing occupational health screenings for responders and persons evacuated.

Growing Concerns: mental health and coping strategies for individuals, community resilience, and injuries as people return to damaged communities.

Public Health Recommendations Pass it On

Although the possibility of an outbreak is low in a vaccinated U.S. population, it is possible that outbreaks of varicella, rubella, mumps, or measles could occur. Although measles and rubella are no longer endemic to the U.S., introductions do occur, and crowded conditions would facilitate their spread. Hepatitis A incidence is low in the affected areas, but post-exposure prophylaxis among persons in evacuation centers would be logistically difficult and so vaccination is recommended. In addition, the influenza season will begin soon and influenza can spread easily under crowded conditions. To reduce the likelihood of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in large crowded group settings CDC encourages people to be up-to-date for vaccinations.

Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule:

Adult Immunization Schedule:

CDC Response

Today’s Snapshot

CDC has sent 3,500 beds and critical medications including for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, anxiety, and diarrhea to the affected areas. Many of the basic pharmaceuticals were in place within hours of the hurricane’s passage.

CDC deployed from its Strategic National Stockpile a 12-hour Push Package to Mississippi. A 12-hour Push Package is designed for rapid deployment and delivery, and contains a broad spectrum of medical supplies: Each 12-hour Push Package includes: oral and intravenous drugs to provide post-exposure prophylaxis and therapeutic treatment. The package also includes: catheters, IV administration sets, antiseptics, and other supplies needed to provide IV therapy and emergency medications.

CDC delivered the following vaccines to Louisiana:

  • 90,000 vials of tetanus/diphtheria – treats 90,000 people
  • 10,000 vials of hepatitis A vaccine – treats 22,000 people
  • 10,000 vials of hepatitis B vaccine – treats 36,000 people

CDC delivered 10,000 vials of insulin to Mississippi and 20,000 vials of insulin to Louisiana.

CDC launched a special flight on September 1, 2005, for rapid delivery of prescription pain medications to Louisiana. A shipment of 28 ventilator kits was also delivered to the airport in New Orleans, to aid in evacuation of patients with critical health concerns.

CDC Internet Traffic: Most popular pages: infectious disease and healthcare provider and worker safety information. Most traffic is coming to CDC site from AOL's government guide and other federal agencies.

Where to Find Out More About

CDC Grant Funds: CDC has posted guidance to its State Health Department grantees about use of CDC grant funds in response to hurricane Katrina.

Professional volunteers: The Federal Government is mobilizing and identifying healthcare professionals and relief personnel to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. As our nation and global community is now aware, the healthcare needs resulting from Katrina are critical.

Please go to: www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/hhs_

Donations: For donations of housing, transportation, medical equipment, supplies, and medications, the National Emergency Resource Registry (NERR) has been activated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To volunteer these types of resources, please register with the NERR. More information on the NERR is included at www.swern.gov/.

FEMA Updates: Please go to www.fema.gov/

Family Links Registry: Please go to www.redcross.org/

Click for larger image of map of CDC Deployed Personnel

Click on map for larger image

Related Topic Areas
bullet Update Archive
bullet Hurricane Katrina Web Site
bullet Urgent Need: Medical & Relief Personnel
bullet Key Facts About Hurricane Recovery
bullet How to Get Help
Note: Information in this dispatch is time sensitive and information is evolving. Prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emergency Communication System. Comments to: ECSKATUPDATE@CDC.GOV
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