Pandemic Influenza: Challenges and Questions

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Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) will be speaking in Bloomington, Minnesota on May 7, 2009 at a joint meeting of the American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) and the Center for Filtration Research (CFR).

Pandemic Influenza, Electricity, and the Coal Supply Chain

Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) will be speaking in Bloomington, Minnesota on May 7, 2009 at a joint meeting of the American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) and the Center for Filtration Research (CFR).

"Like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis, influenza pandemics are recurring natural disasters.*"

In the March/April 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Osterholm sounded the alarm once again on how unprepared governments and industry are to deal with a major pandemic. A relatively mild pandemic, such as what occurred in 1968, would kill 1.4 million people and cost about $330 billion in lost economic output. If the pandemic would be as bad as 1918-19, 142 million people would die and the world's GDP would lose $4.4 trillion.

"Besides getting sick, what else could go wrong?"

Along with the obvious health issues that a pandemic creates, Dr. Osterholm will also address how a pandemic could present serious disruptions in everyday services. In a November, 2008 report published by the CIDRAP, "Pandemic Influenza, Electricity, and the Coal Supply Chain",
Dr. Osterholm demonstrates how a pandemic could disrupt coal supplied to electrical power plants and cause shortages of electricity.

"Just in time Economy"

To reduce costs, the US and world economies have developed "just in time" supply chains. In other words, many critical products like drugs, safety items and food are delivered as needed. Any disruption in the supply chain would result in shortages of critical products. Or if the pandemic produces an increased demand for certain products, they will not be quickly available.

What can be done?

Dr. Osterholm will present the questions that both the public and private sectors need to be addressing. Does your community have any type of preparedness plan? Does your company have a plan? Do you have a plan?

To register for the conference and hear Dr. Osterholm's presentation go to the web page listed below.

http://www.afssociety.org/spring2009/

To learn more about the American Filtration and Separations Society go to:

http://www.afssociety.org

To learn more about the Center for Filtration Research go to:

http://www.me.umn.edu/research/faculty/pui.shtml

To learn more about the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy go to:

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/

*Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86 No. 2, March/April 2007

Contact Information:
Suzanne Sower
American Filtration and Separations Society
7608 Emerson Ave S.
Richfield, MN 55423
Phone: 612-861-1277
Fax: 612-861-7959

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SUZANNE SOWER
AFS
612-581-0900
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