Subject: Studies in the News 05-25 (August 10, 2005)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


Studies in the News Readings

- "Selected Readings on Emergency Preparedness and Public Health"    

- "October 2001 -- August 2005"    

Contents This Week

Introductory Material GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Bioterrorism awareness
   Confronting bioterrorism
   Role of doctors in bioterror attack
HEALTH
   Deadlier and more resilient avian flu
   Capacity of public health system
   Controlling influenza
STUDIES TO COME
   Flu and bioterrorism preparededness
   Challenges from public health emergencies
   Lessons learned from preparedness activities
   Legislators' guide to public health
   Evaluating local readiness
   Two types of terrorist incidents
   Rebuilding public health system
   Improvement in bioterrorism response
   Public health laboratories unprepared
   Emergency preparedness and public health
   Unsolved issues on emergency preparadness
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Gaps in Public Health Preparedness: Lessons Learned in California. By RAND Corporation. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2004. 4 pages.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB9080/RAND_RB9080.pdf

[“The level of bioterrorism preparedness across California’s jurisdictions is uneven, ranging from excellent to poor. There are wide variations in every aspect of preparedness strategy, development, and implementation. The system suffers from inefficiency and waste. Strong leadership will be required to develop a shared understanding of public health organization and responsibilities.”]

[Request #S52501]

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Bioterrorism and State Public Health Laws: New Challenges. By the National Governor's Association. (The Association, Washington, DC) 2004. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.nga.org/cda/files/0405BIOTERRORISMLAWS.pdf

["As states prepare for terrorism, governors must be sure they have legal power to authorize any actions emergency responders need to take. Nowhere is that more necessary than in bioterrorism preparedness efforts. Many public health laws relating to quarantine authority, compelled vaccinations, and the commandeering of resources have not changed since the early and middle decades of the twentieth century."]

[Request #S52502]

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Role of Doctors Critical in Effective Public Health. By Center for Domestic and International Health Security, RAND. (RAND, Washington, DC) 2004. 2 p.

["The goal of bioterrorism-related initiatives is to protect the public's health by increasing the ability of the public health system to respond effectively to a bioterror attack. Current response approaches assume that most of the public will adhere to the recommendations of public health officials about what to do during and after an event."]

[Request #S52503]

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HEALTH

PUBLIC HEALTH

"The Next Pandemic." By Laurie Garrett. IN: Foreign Affairs, vol. 84, no. 4 (July/August 2005)

["Since it first emerged in 1997, avian influenza has become deadlier and more resilient. It has infected 109 people and killed 59 of them. If the virus becomes capable of human-to-human transmission and retains its extraordinary potency, humanity could face a pandemic unlike any ever witnessed."]

[Request #S52457]

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California's Public Health System: Testimony and Recommendations. By J.Hafey, President and CEO, Public Health Institute, and others. Presented to the Little Hoover Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) 2002. Various pagings.

[Includes: "Overview of California’s Public Health System;" "Legal Structure and Financing;" "Medical Facility and Labor Capacity Assessment;" "Risk Analysis and Planning;" "Public Health Leadership Strategic Partners;" "Workforce Capacity;" "Statewide Lab Capacity;" "Public Health: Rural Shortages; and others."

Recommendations to Improve Public Health. Various pagings.
http://www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/pubhealth/phrecs.html

Testimony and Presentation Materials. Various pagings.
http://www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/pubhealth/pubhealth.html

[Request #S52504]

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"Avian Flu: Ready for a Pandemic? [Issue Theme.]" By Erika Check and others. IN: Nature, vol. 435 (May 26, 2005) pp. 399-424.

[Includes: "Avian Flu: Are We Ready?" "Is This Our Best Shot?" "What's in the Medicine Cabinet?" "Controlling Avian Flu at the Source;" "A Weapon the World Needs;" "Global Task Force for Influenza;" "Is China Prepared for Microbial Threats?" and "Race against Time." NOTE: Avian Flu ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S52505]

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PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Critical Linkages Between Influenza Preparedness and Bioterrorism Preparedness. By Michael Mair, and others, Center for Biosecurity of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (The Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) October 22, 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.upmc-biosecurity.org/misc/flu/critical.html

["Preparing the nation for the annual flu season, and for an even more devastating pandemic such as the 1918 'Spanish' flu, requires the same core activities and capabilities that are critical for bioterrorism preparedness. Responsible investments will enable the U.S. to deal with routine threats like flu and unusual ones like a bioterrorist attack."]

[Request #S4623]

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HEALTH

PUBLIC HEALTH

"How Prepared Are Americans For Public Health Emergencies? Twelve Communities Weigh In; U.S. Communities Have Made Much Progress Since 9/11, But Gaps in Preparedness Still Remain." By Megan McHugh, Mathematica Policy Research, and others. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 23, no. 3 (May/June 2004) pp. 201-209.

Full Text at: content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/23/3/201

["Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, emergency preparedness has become a top priority in metropolitan areas, and some of these areas have received considerable federal funding to help support improvements. Although much progress has been made, preparedness still varies across communities.... Experience with other public health emergencies, strong leadership, successful collaboration, and adequate funding contributed to high states of readiness. Important challenges include a shortage of funding, delay in the receipt of federal funding, and staffing shortages."]

[Request #S3425]

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Public Health Preparedness in California: Lessons Learned from Seven Health Jurisdictions. By Nicole Lurie and others, RAND Health. Prepared for the California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente. (Rand Health, Santa Monica, California) 2004. 170 p.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/publications/TR/TR181/TR181.pdf

["Despite a slow start for receipt of CDC-related funding at local levels, each of the jurisdictions we studied has undertaken significant preparedness activities...There is widespread variation in the ability of local health jurisdictions to respond to infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats...Estimated additional annual costs statewide of filling the 'preparedness gap' range from $72 to $96 million."]

[Request #S4614]

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Public Health: A Legislator's Guide. By Tracey Hooker and Lisa Speissegger, National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL Denver, Colorado) February 2002. 101 p.

["State legislatures play vital roles in the health of the public.... Legislatures pass budget appropriations, school immunization requirements, laws on reporting communicable disease infection, laws restricting minors' access to tobacco and countless other policies.... Policymakers and public health professionals currently are working toward policy on a variety of public health issues. [This guide] focuses on major issues that have dominated public health."]

[Request #S6077]

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Measuring and Evaluating Local Preparedness for a Chemical or Biological Terrorist Attack. By Ronald D. Fricker and others, RAND. Issue Paper. IP-217-OSD. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2002 8 p.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/publications/IP/IP217/IP217.pdf

["This issue paper has two purposes: to suggest some nationally representative measures of local responder preparedness for chemical and biological terrorism as a baseline for current debate; and to illustrate the limitations of our measures and describe why quantifying preparedness for terrorism, by any measure, is elusive."]

[Request #S7186]

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Are Local Health Responders Ready for Biological and Chemical Terrorism? By Lois M. Davis and Janice C. Blanchard, RAND. Issue Paper. IP-221-OSD. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2002. 8 p.

["Our analyses focused on two types of terrorist incidents-- chemical and biological attacks -- where public health agencies and hospitals clearly will play an important role in the response .... Our findings suggest that many local public health agencies and hospitals are unaware of what type of capabilities or surge capacity may be required; do not have plans for communicating with other health providers."]

[Request #S7188]

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To Protect & Prevent: Rebuilding California's Public Health System. By the Little Hoover Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) April 2003. 136 p.

Full Text at: www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/170/report170.pdf

["Report: Disease Control Weak Link in State Safety: California's public health system for control of infectious disease and possible bioterrorism is the weak link in the state's homeland defense, a watchdog agency has concluded.... The report warns of gaps among state and local agencies charged with protecting the public against old threats such as hospital infections and emerging diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS." Sacramento Bee (April 11, 2003) A3.]

[Request #S7934]

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Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Bioterrorism Preparedness Efforts Have Improved Public Health Response Capacity, but Gaps Remain. By Janet Heinrich. United States General Accounting Office. GAO-03-654T. (The Office, Washington, DC) April 2003. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-654T

["The efforts of state and local public health agencies to prepare for a bioterrorist attack have improved the nation's capacity to respond to infectious disease outbreaks and other major public health threats, but gaps in preparedness remain.... GAO found that regional planning was generally lacking between states but that states were developing their own plans for receiving and distributing medical supplies for emergencies, as well as plans for mass vaccinations in the event of a public health emergency."]

[Request #S8016]

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Public Health Laboratories: Unprepared and Overwhelmed. By Trust for America's Health (The Trust, Washington, DC) June 2003. 28 p.

Full Text at: healthyamericans.org/resources/files/LabReport.pdf

["Despite repeated warnings by the Bush administration that chemical agents are among the most readily available terrorist weapons, the nation's public health laboratories are "dangerously unprepared" for a chemical attack, according to a state-by-state analysis. The vast majority of labs do not have the equipment or expertise to identify a wide range of potential chemical weapons, including ricin, cyanide, sarin, VX and most pesticides, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Trust for America's Health reported." The Washington Post (June 4, 2003) A11.]

[Request #S8848]

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Recommendations for Emergency Preparedness and Public Health: Letter Report. By Little Hoover Commission. 170a. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) June 2005. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/emergprep/report170a.pdf

["Veteran scientists are grappling with a different sort of biological problem: They are getting old. Short of cash, and unable to compete with private biotechnology companies, the California Department of Health Services is often unable to replace the microbiologists who retire. The nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission warned that the labor shortage could have horrific consequences. 'The State has not deployed a public health surveillance system that could detect serious threats in time to save thousands of lives,' wrote commission Chairman Michael Alpert, in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers. 'The State has not stopped the serious erosion of its laboratory capacity, which is essential to analyzing medical responses.'" San Francisco Chronicle (July 31, 2005) online.]

[Request #S52446]

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Emergency Preparedness Review: Testimony. By Alan P. Zelicoff, former senior scientist, Center for Arms Control and National Security, and others. Presented to the Little Hoover Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California). May 26, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/May05.html

["Thankfully, while bioterrorism has not reared its ugly head in the intervening time at least two completely novel infectious diseases have appeared or spread across the country – SARS and West Nile fever.... This State (and just about all others) have done little to substantively prepare for the next naturally occurring, totally new and unexpected disease outbreak (let alone bioterrorism) and even more important we have not solved the fundamental communications problem among public health officials, physicians, emergency response personnel, nurses and other health care providers, hospitals and veterinarians." Includes: Testimony by Colonel Robert Kadlec, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health, U. S. Senate; Eric M. Koscove, Chief, Emergency Department, Kaiser Permanente; Peter Abbott, President, California Public Health Association; Carmen R. Nevarez, Public Health Institute; and others.]

[Request #S52447]

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NATIONAL READER

NATIONAL READER

Public Hearing on Disaster Preparedness: Testimonies. Presented to the Little Hoover Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) October 25, 2001. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir/Oct01.html

[Includes: Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, State of California; William T. Sams, Chief, and Michael Grossman, Captain, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Dallas Jones, Director, Governor's Office of Emergency Services; K. Jack Riley, Director of RAND Criminal Justice; Dr. Steven J. Rottman, Director, UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters; Frances Edwards-Winslow, Director of Emergency Preparedness, City of San Jose Michael J. Amado, Director, Emergency Services, American Red Cross, San Gabriel Valley Chapter; Dr. Angelo Salvucci, Medical Director, Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency; and Jerry Davies, Director of Communications, Personal Insurance Federation.]

[Request #S2699]

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