October 19, 2006

Avian Flu, What to Do? (I)

I just finished with my first round of tests of medical school. I tried to keep up with my posting by putting up a few mnemonics that I thought were useful and good to know... many of them were invented by my good friend Knewton.

Now that I'm out of that study grind, I wanted to move on to something else. This week, I will feature different aspects of the Avian Bird Flu and what the role of medical students would be in the case of a pandemic outbreak.

In case you didn't know, last week was "Pandemic Flu Awareness Week!" My Medical School put on a Bioevents conference for the med students in which we suspended regular classes for a day long seminar on different aspects of the Avian flu: introduction to the flu, the microbio and clinical aspects, a public health response, a medical response, mental health implications and case studies.

Regrettably, the majority of my class dug out after lunch to study for our exams... and in my opinion, this was a mistake. First off, it was disrespectful to the speakers who came to talk with us and second, you're blowing off what might become the most critical service we will provide?!? (We're not sure when the Avian Flu will become a pandemic outbreak, but we know it WILL happen...) I'm very passionate about these sorts of public health situations.

That's why I wanted to disseminate the information I've gathered to share with you. It is important that everyone knows what is expected of them during a disaster situation. As Sunday's earthquake and subsequent blackout attests... My State isn't quite ready to handle the sheer enormity of this task without the full cooperation and understanding from our citizens.

Sorry, I know this is a big teaser, but stay tuned as I introduce you to the flu as we know it!

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