The rational clinician in a pandemic setting

David A. Bradt, Joseph Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

• Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza has generated many controversies in Australia around case definitions, laboratory diagnosis, case management, medical logistics and travel restrictions. • Our experience as clinical advisers in the Victorian Department of Human Services Emergency Operations Centre suggests the following: ▶ Case definitions may change frequently, and will tend to become more clinically specific over time. ▶ Early in a pandemic, laboratory diagnosis plays a critical role in case finding and pathogen identification. ▶ Later in the pandemic, standardised case management applied to well crafted case definitions should reduce reliance on the diagnostic laboratory in clinical management. The diagnostic laboratory will remain critical to monitoring disease surveillance, pathogen virulence, and drug susceptibility. ▶ Medical logistics will continue to challenge pandemic managers as the health sector struggles to do the most good for the greatest number of people. ▶ Travel restrictions remain scientifically controversial public health recommendations. ▶ Issues of scalability (escalation and de-escalation of the response) relating to virus lethality need to be resolved in current pandemic planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-89
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume192
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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