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FEMA Seeking Contractors Who Can Supply Biohazard Disposal Facilities, Tarps and Housing Units With 24-48 Hours Notice
FEMA is seeking contractors who can supply medical biohazard disposal capabilities and 40 yard dumpsters to 1,000 tent hospitals across the United States; all required on 24-48 hour notice. Issued on January 10th, you can see the request here.
The request comes on the heels of other requests that the medical supply industry has received recently.
A request for 31,000,000 doses of pediatric flu vaccine from the CDC Solicitation notice can be seen here.
FEMA also put out solicitation requests for: 100,000 each of winter shirts and pants and the same for summer. Interestingly only 10% of the items are to be in childrens sizes.
From Tarps to manufactured pre-fabricated housing units, the requests for goods and services is a long one. Most of the requests and solicitations have an indefinite delivery date and an indefinite number of items to be supplied, such as this one for beverages. Scroll down to the revised draft solicitation at the bottom of the page for the specific requirements of the request.
So what is FEMA preparing for?
Tent hospitals were the only way the United States coped with the 1918-1920 pandemic as hospitals and medical centers were rapidly overwhelmed with the sick and the dying.
Almost every week we are confronted by a new flu strain, or an emerging disease that could, in the right circumstances, threaten our way of life.
Whatever it is they’re preparing for, those items that do have numbers attached to them indicate they are not ordering enough stuff to ensure the survival of the bulk of the population.
The only way we are going to get through the trials and hardships that are coming our way is by being prepared. The government has proved time and time again they cannot deal with even a regional major incident effectively let alone a nationwide emergency. You only have to look at the aftermath of Katrina and Sandy to see that these people cannot protect you, they don’t have the organizational skills to do so. Just getting water to hurricane survivors was beyond them. They cited ‘logistical’ issues and bad weather.
So, if a national disaster happens on a nice sunny day when there are enough truck drivers to move stuff around we could possibly expect them to perform better. That’s comforting.
I prefer to take action on my own behalf and leave FEMA to ‘assist’ those who never had the foresight to prepare.
Video via Activist Post
Addressing H5N1 concerns9:34
Alberta health officials have confirmed an isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Wednesday.
- Bird flu questions and answers
- 10 things you should know about the flu vaccine
- Map: Flu outbreaks across Canada
But officials repeatedly emphasized that there is no risk of transmission between humans.
The infected person, an Alberta resident who recently travelled to Beijing, China, died Jan. 3.
The case was confirmed in a lab test last night. It’s the first such case in North America.
The person first showed symptoms of the flu on a Dec. 27 flight from Beijing to Vancouver aboard Air Canada flight 030. The passenger continued on to Edmonton on Air Canada flight 244, after spending a few hours in the Vancouver airport, and was admitted to hospital Jan. 1. The symptoms of fever, malaise and headache worsened and the patient died two days later. The Public Health Agency of Canada was notified Jan. 5.
There were no respiratory symptoms, said Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
The diagnosis at the time of death was an inflammation of the brain and the linings that cover the brain. “That is one of the ways that H5N1 patients die,” Talbot said.
It is not known how the patient contracted the disease. The patient did not leave Beijing, did not travel to farms and did not visit any markets.
“Virtually every case has a pretty strong link to a close contact with birds,” Talbot said, though he noted there are other settings in which a person might catch H5N1, such as a restaurant that kept live birds for slaughter.
Rare in humans
Dr. Gregory Taylor, deputy chief public health officer, said the avian form of influenza has been found in birds, mainly poultry, in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
There have been fewer than than 650 human cases of bird flu in 15 countries over the last decade, primarily among people who have spent time around infected birds, he said.
“The illness [H5N1] causes in humans is severe and kills about 60 per cent of those who are infected,” Taylor said.
“No other illnesses of this type have been identified in Canada since the traveller returned from China. This is an isolated case.”
The officials added that the patient was otherwise healthy and it’s not yet clear how the person contracted H5N1.
Speaking to Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, Taylor said the patient was relatively young.
“This was a relatively young — well, a young person compared to me, with no underlying health conditions,” he said. Taylor is 58.
Risk of getting H5N1 low
Officials emphasized that this is not a disease transmitted between humans.
There were two people travelling with the infected person, whom officials are following for 10 days to ensure they don’t have any symptoms. They are also going to notify the other passengers from the flights between Beijing and Edmonton, and are following a group of the patient’s “close contacts.”
Talbot said family members of the victim are being monitored and treated with medication, but noted that there’s no sign they are sick.
Officials created confusion by referring to the patient as “him” and “her” in order to avoid identifying anyone. Officials said that they would not identify the sex, age or occupation of the patient. They also refused to say whether the infected passenger was an Edmonton resident or whether the patient went to hospital in Edmonton, although the final leg of the flight ended there.
Talbot said reports that the patient was from Edmonton are erroneous.
Ambrose, who phoned into a news conference in Ottawa, said Canadian officials are working with Chinese authorities on the case, as well as the World Health Organization.
“The risk of getting H5N1 is very low. This is not the regular seasonal flu. This is an isolated case,” she said.
An Air Canada spokeswoman said in a statement the airline is co-operating with officials, but referred any questions on the matter to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Source: World Health Organization
Figures for all countries except Canada are current as of Dec. 10, 2013. Canada’s one case was reported on Jan. 8, 2014.
Albertans urged to get flu shots 3:00
Alberta Health Services (AHS) says there are more than 965 confirmed flu cases in the province and there have been five deaths.
“Those are only people who have gone to seek medical attention and physicians have done specimens that have been sent to the lab and those have been confirmed positive,” said Dr. Judy McDonald. “We expect that there is much more influenza circulating in our communities that has not been lab confirmed.”
Officials say 920 of those cases are of the H1N1 strain, which is covered by this year’s flu vaccine. The overall number of flu cases has jumped by 50 per cent in one week.
Dr. Glen Armstrong, an infectious disease expert, says the numbers aren’t a record but more than the province has seen in recent years.
“It may be that because we’ve had a bit of a holiday over the last couple of years. People have become complacent and are thinking, ‘OK, it’s no big deal, you know I don’t need to get vaccinated,'” he said.
Armstrong says even if you got the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 pandemic, you should get immunized again.
“Because you don’t get lifelong immunity,… you get sort of a spike of immunity that will protect you for maybe a year or so. But after that immunity starts to wane and so this is a good opportunity to get revaccinated and to boost your immunity back up again to give you maximum protection,” he said.
Mass immunization clinics reopen
Health officials are urging people to get the vaccination, particularly before children head back to school.
Albertans who have not yet received a flu shot can still visit AHS mass immunization clinics, local pharmacies and family physician offices.
The vaccine is still available, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age and older. But officials are reminding Albertans that children under the age of nine are not able to receive the vaccine at pharmacies.
Alberta Health Services clinics at Brentwood Mall in Calgary’s northwest and at the South Calgary Health Centre are both open today.
Mass immunization clinics in Edmonton will reopen Friday at the Bonnie Doon Health Centre and Northgate Health Centre from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT.
For complete details on clinic locations and hours, call Health Link Alberta toll free at 1-866-408-5465 or visitalbertahealthservices.ca/influenza.