Navigation Links
Community Mitigation Lessons From Mexico's A(H1N1) Response

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When the hitherto undetected A(H1N1) influenza attacked Mexico explosively in late April 2009, the world watched with critical attention as that country's leaders scrambled to manage the emerging public health crisis.

President Felipe Calderon invoked emergency health powers on April 24, setting into motion a broad range of community mitigation strategies, or non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) including school closures, public gathering bans, isolation, quarantine and social distancing. Today, Mexico remains under scrutiny as the global community examines myriad data to identify the most successful and reproducible NPI tactics should another epidemic emerge in the coming months and years.

"Understanding how Mexico managed its preparedness strategies speaks volumes to those interested in assessing the implementation and response to NPIs during a major infectious outbreak," says Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D., the Zina Pitcher Collegiate Professor in the History of Medicine, associate director of the U-M Center for the History of Medicine and director of its Program in Contemporary History and Health Policy.

In a commentary published in the Sept. 16, 2009 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Stern and co-author Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U-M Center for the History of Medicine, provide a historical snapshot of Mexico's emergency A(H1N1) public health strategies that is based on dozens of interviews they and their researchers conducted in Mexico in July 2009 with citizens and public officials.

The commentary is framed by their conversation with Dr. Ignacio Villasenor Ruiz of Mexico City's health department, who said officials "had to recognize that influenza transmission could not be stopped, but we could do two things: first, slow the transmission rate and lower mortality."

The authors say Mexico demonstrated that rapid, transparent communications provided real-time help for other countries grappling with their own emerging influenza crises. Officials also carried out generally effective communications within Mexico's borders. Of special note was Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova's role as an able and trusted communicator who worked to align sources and unify messages in order to avoid public confusion.

Simple printed public health messages and cooperative media helped to positively influence social behavior, even when dealing with a heterogeneous population and uneven literacy rates. Interviewees noted widespread compliance throughout the country with little pushback, and a temporary suspension of partisan politics. And finally, health officials reacted nimbly to support and encourage the population's spontaneous use of face masks.

Still, the authors say, authorities had problems, especially in terms of technical and scientific infrastructure. For example, there were difficulties with accurate, timely surveillance and reporting because some areas still rely on pen and paper, or do not generate any public health data at all. And without its own viral library, Mexican scientists were unable to conduct rapid genomic identification of patient specimens. And one problem was beyond the realm of control: the pandemic's impact on Mexico's economy.

Even with these difficulties, Mexico's authorities and its people have set a high bar for establishing and executing effective community mitigation strategies.

"If anything can be called fortunate about the spring 2009 outbreak of A(H1N1), it is that the global community is eager to extract lessons from Mexico's experience with influenza in order to replicate its successes and avoid similar problems during future public health emergencies," said Markel, who is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine.

SOURCE U-M Center for the History of Medicine
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. 3rd Annual Collaborative Drug Discovery - UCSF Community Meeting for Catalyzing Humanitarian and Commercial Research to be Held October 1st
2. Adamari Lopez & Yoplait(R) Committed to Continue Raising Awareness for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Among the Hispanic Community
3. ESMO Online Innovation Helps the Oncology Community Share Knowledge and Enhance Practice
4. Bupa Launches its 2009 International Charity Challenge to Help a Rural Community in Ecuador
5. Dr. Eliscer Guzman, with The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Join Forces to Celebrate the Community Diabetes and Cardiovascular Care Programs Graduation Ceremony on September 16th
6. Phoenix House Community Turns Out En Masse For Second Annual A&E Recovery Rally
7. Initial Slate of Speakers and Sponsors Announced for BioConference Live, Online Conference for the Life Science Community on November 17-19
8. Purple Communications Invites Greater Baltimore Area Community To Celebrate Dr. MJ Bienvenu, Finalist in Dream Bigger Initiative
9. Highbridge Community Life Center Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Health Careers/Education Facility in the Bronx
10. Texas Kidney Community Expresses Hope DC Health Care Reform Debate Can Help Drive Continued Progress in Texas Opening Needed Dialysis Facilities
11. Bionovo to Present Positive Results from Phase 2 Trial of Menerba for Vasomotor Symptoms to the International Community
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awareness about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... for individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile ... orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Any dentist who has made an implant supported denture ... of them do not even offer this as a viable ... costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer that ... cost that the majority of today,s patients would not be ... , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of Implanova ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing ... serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The ... sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: