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Pandemic chapter 2

Pandemic chapter 2
ALEX PAPOULIAS: Okay [COMPUTER CHIMES] Call me if anything changes. Bye. [PHONE RINGS]
“Truth. The disease is spreading, and no one’s doing anything about it. So many deaths– make a profit. Where does the University of Mendona stand? It will all become clear very–”
COWORKER: Alex, what’s going on out there? What the hell is SARI?
ALEX PAPOULIAS: I’m working on it.
COWORKER: My wife is sick.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: I’m working on it.
COWORKER: She’s in quarantine.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: Sorry, mate.
MARA TSONI: Flat white with one.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: I’ve stopped taking sugar.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: Oh, it’s fine. Actually, I could use the energy.
MARA TSONI: The department are considering a full quarantine if it continues to grow, which looks likely.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: None of these groups are known for chemical warfare. We’ve got guns, knives, acid–
LUCY: Sorry, Alex.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: Don’t start with sorry.
LUCY: Sorry. Umm, we’re having trouble finding the owner of that blog. He’s either going through a router or high tech encryption. We’ll keep looking, but I–
ALEX PAPOULIAS: Sure, sure. We’re the counter-terrorism unit, and we can’t even crack a conspiracy theorist website? Nobody kills 100 people just to kill 100 people. You do it to send a message. You do it to make a point.
MARA TSONI: Well, maybe they’re waiting for the body count to grow. Pandemics are big business– money, fame, prestige.
ALEX PAPOULIAS: What do you know about the University of Mendona?
MARA TSONI: Well, it’s a university. They don’t deal with this kind of thing. Plus, it’s government funded. Super regulated. [SOBBING]
Insider threats refer to legitimate workers who have access to dangerous pathogens such as laboratory workers who perform an illegal or unethical action to disseminate a pathogen to cause harm to others. One important question is how can you prevent insider threats? Governance of microbiology laboratories is important as well as insuring limiting physical access to pathogens by unauthorised personnel, observing behaviours of individual workers that might signal problematic intentions as well as establishing work practices that may prevent insider threats such as having workers conducts routine activities in pairs.
This video highlights the possibility that the outbreak was initiated by a laboratory worker who may have had access to dangerous pathogens. Because there are some unusual features of the outbreak seen in the video, it is important to confirm the cause of the infection, the dynamics of the infection such as the case fatality rate and to think about control measure that might limit the spread of infection.
Health authorities need to know how to work with the media to ensure that the public, receives accurate and timely information and instructions to prevent panic, and to give people practical measures that they can use to protect themselves and their families.
Health authorities also need to have systems in place to identify the disease outbreak and guidelines and procedures for managing and responding to various outbreaks scenarios.
After watching this episode of Pandemic, please discuss the following questions in the comments section below
  • How would a bioterrorism event be recognised?
  • Who are the first responders in a bioterrorism event?
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Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Public Health Dimensions

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