Pandemic Influenza Policy Plan
The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (MDDSN) will maintain a Pandemic Influenza Plan (Plan) to respond to a pandemic influenza outbreak. This Plan is intended to reduce the adverse impact that such an outbreak would have on the consumers, families and staff who receive or provide services through MDDSN.
There are six phases of a pandemic influenza recognized by the World Health Organization. The higher the phase, the greater the risk of widespread outbreak. Response to a pandemic influenza will be dictated by the respective phase of the outbreak. Phase status will be defined by the United States government.
Interpandemic Period Phase I - No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. An influenza virus subtype that has caused human infection may be present in animals. If present in animals, the risk of human infection or disease is considered to be low.
Phase II - No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. However, a circulating animal influenza virus subtype poses a substantial risk of human disease.
Pandemic Alert Period Phase III - Human infection with a new subtype has been detected but no human-to-human spread or, at most, rare instances of spread to a close contact.
Phase IV - Small clusters of human infection with limited human-to-human transmission have occurred but spread is highly localized, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans.
Phase V - Larger clusters of human infection has been detected but human-to-human spread still is localized, suggesting that the virus is becoming increasingly better adapted to humans but may not yet be fully transmissible.
Pandemic Period Phase VI - Increased and sustained transmission in general human population.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a plan and procedure for prevention, preparation and responding to a Pandemic Influenza outbreak within our agency.
Prevention: (for influenza and all diseases)
Staff and consumers will be encouraged to wash their hands often with an antibacterial soap for at least 15 seconds. Signs will be displayed in each restroom area encouraging staff to wash their hands and "guidelines for hand washing." Staff will also be encouraged to use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer in program areas in an effort to prevent the spread of disease.
Staff will be encouraged to stay home if they are ill and display symptoms of Influenza. Consumers and their families will be encouraged to stay at home should they display symptoms of Influenza.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is the lead agency for implementation of the Emergency Service Function 8/Health and Medicine (ESF8) of the South Carolina Emergency Management Plan. As such, DHEC is the primary agency in South Carolina responsible for responding to a pandemic influenza outbreak.
Should a Phase IV Pandemic Alert be given, efforts will be undertaken at a local level to assure coordination with those entities which will have responsibility for responding to a pandemic influenza.
Our Pharmaceutical Provider will be contacted to ensure an appropriate supply of antiviral drugs such as "Tamiflu," and "Relenza."
Face masks, exam gloves, tissues and sanitizers will be resupplied as necessary to ensure each location has appropriate amounts. House Managers and Lead Day Program Staff will provide purchase requests to Finance to facilitate necessary supplies.
Plan for Response:
Should it be determined by DHEC that an outbreak of Pandemic Flu may be imminent (Phases V through VI Pandemic Period), then the following preparation will begin.
The local agency disaster plan will be implemented in regard to outbreak of Pandemic Influenza.
A consumer in our day programs who displays symptoms of Influenza will be isolated in sick rooms until picked up by family or taken to a physician or hospital to confirm Influenza. If influenza is confirmed by a medical professional, the consumer will either stay home in the community or in our Residential homes until they are no longer contagious, (usually after 7 days). Severe cases may require hospitalization upon the recommendation of the health professional.
If a consumer in our Residential homes is confirmed with Influenza they will be isolated from the other consumers as much as possible and receive medical care as appropriate to include antiviral drugs prescribed by a physician. Staff will be encouraged to wear face masks, gloves, use sanitizers and wash hands often to lessen the possibility of spreading the disease. The infected consumer will wear a face mask should they get within 6 feet of others in the home. Severe cases may require hospitalization upon the recommendation of the health professional.
DHEC, SCDDSN and local officials if necessary will be contacted and information received on their recommendations and actions needed to be taken within our facilities based on the situation.
Decisions as to whether or not to close the day program due to a Pandemic Influenza outbreak will be based on the MDDSN local disaster plan after consultation with DHEC, SCDDSN and local officials if necessary.
Should the day programs be closed they will not reopen until it is recommended by the DHEC and SCDDSN after the outbreak is clearly over.
A request for the days lost due to the outbreak will be submitted to SCDDSN for attendance credit.