S.C.: Pandemic plan handled H1N1, needs tweaking

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Joey Holleman at The State reviewed South Carolina’s reaction to H1N1 and what it revealed about the state’s pandemic preparedness. Holleman found that, on the whole, state officials and health professionals felt their pandemic preparations, put in place after scares such as SARS and H5N1, had worked well and proposed only minor adjustments to the overall plan.

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Holleman said those specifics include detailing school closing plans, assigning responsibility for home-quarantined patients and adjusting hospital entry traffic to keep flu sufferers isolated. Apart from those details, the state’s plans appear to be working.

So far, the state has had 36 CDC-confirmed cases of H1N1 and no reported deaths. The cornerstones of S.C.’s response have been rapid stockpiling of necessary medications and materials and rapid education of both hospital staffs and the public. For the most part, officials said, the effort was not much different than previous efforts to contain other infectious diseases like chicken pox or whooping cough.

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