Acute febrile respiratory illness aboard ships in the US Navy

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Title: Acute febrile respiratory illness aboard ships in the US Navy
Author: Jonathan F. Stinson
Abstract: Acute Febrile Respiratory Illness (A /FRI ) is a common but significant category of illness with world wide effect and impact on morbidity and mortality . In the shipboard environment the environmental , susceptibility and exposure factors that favor the spread of A /FRI are augmented . This paper assesses the risk of A /FRI aboard US Navy ships and compares that risk to preparations and policy already in place to reduce the risk of epidemics aboard ships . For ships to have the best chance at avoiding disabling epidemics , improvements are needed in the following five areas : 1 ) accurate and timely medical intelligence about A /FRI outbreaks worldwide , disseminated to all ships medical departments , as well as aggressive ship board surveillance programs with rapid testing Influenza kits and real time submission up the chain of command , 2 ) mandated education for all shipboard personnel about proper hygiene , the avoidance of disease , and self reporting of symptoms to facilitate early diagnosis and intervention if needed , 3 ) facilitation of early detection of outbreaks through the widespread availability and use of point of care rapid testing for influenza A & B with reflex testing to identify Avian Flu or novel strains , 4 ) early treatment with antiviral medications including keeping supplies aboard for ready use to avoid time delay in procurement , and 5 ) development of effective respiratory isolation methods and procedures standardized by ship class , established , in place and ready for immediate use . Improvements in these five critical areas are necessary to avoid the potential of an A /FRI epidemic aboard ship and its resultant impact on morbidity , mortality and operational readiness .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .3 /141
Date: 2009-08-01

Citation

Acute febrile respiratory illness aboard ships in the US Navy. The University of Texas Medical Branch. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .3 /141 .

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