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Abstract

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American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-673-0

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Book part

Jaro Kotalik

Objectives: To discuss whether, during an influenza pandemic, public health authorities could be ethically justified in implementing a mandatory vaccination program…

Abstract

Objectives: To discuss whether, during an influenza pandemic, public health authorities could be ethically justified in implementing a mandatory vaccination program directed at health care professionals.

Methods: Ethical analysis is carried out by examining arguments that can be made in favor or against such a mandatory measure and by seeking a reasonably balanced position between them. Arguments under consideration are based on the duties of health professionals and public health authorities, the consequences of their actions and on other ethical principles. The importance of relevant empirical data is stressed without any attempt to review or analyze them systematically.

Results: Mandatory vaccination of some health care professionals during a serious pandemic of influenza can be justified, but only under certain limited conditions.

Conclusions: In the throes of an influenza pandemic, health care professionals (and to a variable degree, other health care workers) have an ethical obligation to accept influenza vaccination if it is reasonably safe and effective. The ethical responsibility of public health authorities is to limit the impact of a pandemic on the population by all reasonable means, which clearly includes the appropriate use of vaccine. Consequently, the vaccination of health care staff can be made mandatory under certain conditions. However, a critical objection to this conclusion, which upholds that a voluntary vaccination program (an ethically much less problematic intervention) is just as effective, needs to be addressed.

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Ethics and Epidemics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-412-6

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Case study

Timothy Feddersen, Jochen Gottschalk and Lars Peters

The spread of bird flu outside of Asia, particularly in Africa and Europe, topped headlines in 2006. The migration of wild birds brought the virus to Europe, where for the…

Abstract

The spread of bird flu outside of Asia, particularly in Africa and Europe, topped headlines in 2006. The migration of wild birds brought the virus to Europe, where for the first time it spread to productive livestock, bringing it closer to the Western world. Due to today's globalized and highly interconnected world, the consequences of a potential bird flu pandemic are expected to be much more severe than those of the Spanish flu, which killed 50-100 million people between 1918 and 1921. A vaccine for the bird virus is currently not available. As of July 2006, 232 cases of human infection had been documented, mostly through direct contact with poultry. Of those, 134 people died. The best medication available to treat bird flu was Roche's antiviral drug Tamiflu. However, Tamiflu was not widely available; current orders of government bodies would not be fulfilled until the end of 2008. Well aware that today's avian flu might become a global pandemic comparable to the Spanish flu, Roche CEO Franz Humer had to decide how Roche should respond. While the pharmaceutical industry continued its research efforts on vaccines and medications, Tamiflu could play an important role by protecting healthcare workers and helping to contain the virus---or at least slow down its spread. Due to patent protection and a complicated production process with scarce raw ingredients, Roche had been the only producer of the drug. Partly in response to U.S. political pressure, in November 2005 Roche allowed Gilead to produce Tamiflu as well. Even so, it would take at least until late 2007 for Roche and Gilead to meet the orders of governments worldwide. The issue was a difficult one for Roche: What were the risks; what were the opportunities? If a pandemic occurred before sufficient stockpiles of Tamiflu had been built up, would Roche be held responsible? What steps, if any, should Roche take with respect to patent protection and production licensing in the shadow of a potential pandemic?

Students will weigh the benefits of short-term profit maximization against the risks that a highly uncertain event could pose to a business and consider nonstandard approaches to mitigate these risks. Students will discuss the challenges of addressing low-probability, high-impact events; potential conflicts with the short-term view of the stock market and analyst community; and challenges of the patent protection model for drugs for life-threatening diseases.

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Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Article

Sameer Kumar

The author aims to assess the spread of avian flu, its impact on businesses operating in the USA and overseas, and the measures required for corporate preparedness.

Abstract

Purpose

The author aims to assess the spread of avian flu, its impact on businesses operating in the USA and overseas, and the measures required for corporate preparedness.

Design/methodology/approach

Six Sigma DMAIC process is used to analyze avian flu's impact and how an epidemic could affect large US business operations worldwide. Wal‐Mart and Dell Computers were chosen as one specializes in retail and the other manufacturing.

Findings

The study identifies avian flu pandemic risks including failure modes on Wal‐Mart and Dell Computers global operations. It reveals the factors that reinforce avian‐flu pandemic's negative impact on company global supply chains. It also uncovers factors that balance avian‐flu pandemic's impact on their global supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

Avian flu and its irregularity affect the research outcomes because its spread could fluctuate based on so many factors that could come into play. Further, the potential cost to manufacturers and other supply chain partners is relatively unknown. As a relatively new phenomenon, quantitative data were not available to determine immediate costs.

Social implications

In this decade, the avian influenza H5N1 virus has killed millions of poultry in Asia, Europe and Africa. This flu strain can infect and kill humans who come into contact with this virus. An avian influenza H5N1 outbreak could lead to a devastating effect on global food supply, business services and business operations.

Originality/value

The study provides guidance on what global business operation managers can do to prepare for such events, as well as how avian flu progression to a pandemic can disrupt such operations. This study raises awareness about avian flu's impact on businesses and humans and also highlights the need to create contingency plans for corporate preparedness to avoid incurring losses.

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International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Book part

Ananya Mukherjea

Purpose – This chapter considers the social politics of H5N1 (“avian influenza”), the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and the response to it within the context of the history of…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter considers the social politics of H5N1 (“avian influenza”), the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and the response to it within the context of the history of pandemic influenzas and the continuing need for robust preventative public health systems more generally. In particular, the author considers how the borders between nations, species, and individuals are thrown into relief and called into question by influenza outbreaks and their management.

Methodology/approach – This work relies on literature review, media research, and critical and interpretative sociological methods.

Findings – While panic surrounding new and potentially highly virulent influenza strains is reasonable, such panic is not sustainable and belies the fact that every year presents the danger of a pandemic. This chapter argues that, if public health systems only respond to immediate panic and fail to consider how quickly airborne diseases can cross all sorts of borders, they do not attend to the real need for far-seeing, long-term, internationally collaborative disease prevention and disaster preparedness.

Contribution to the field – The author offers a critical and wellness- and prevention-oriented perspective on what priorities should be emphasized in the rapidly growing fields of disaster studies and disaster preparedness, which, by their nature, tend to be crisis oriented and focused on the micro-term, with planning done on a case-by-case basis. Such a narrow focus can render preventative health systems inflexible and unable to rise to the challenge of a disease that can spread easily through casual contact.

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Understanding Emerging Epidemics: Social and Political Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-080-3

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Article

John Connolly

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the governance and policy-making challenges in the context of “wicked problems” based on the case of pandemic influenza.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the governance and policy-making challenges in the context of “wicked problems” based on the case of pandemic influenza.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study research is based on an analysis of official documentation and interviews with policy elites at multiple levels of UK governance.

Findings

Results of this study show that policy actors regard risk communication, the dynamics of international public policy and UK territorial governance as the main governance challenges in the management of influenza at a macro-level. The paper also serves to identify that although contingencies management for epidemiological issues require technical and scientific considerations to feature in governance arrangements, equally there are key “wicked problems” in the context public policy that pervade the health security sector.

Practical implications

The study indicates the need to build in resources at a national level to plan for policy coordination challenges in areas that might at first be seen as devoid of political machinations (such as technical areas of public policy that might be underpinned by epidemiological processes). The identification of the major governance challenges that emerge from the pandemic influenza case study is a springboard for a research agenda in relation to the analysis of the parallels and paradoxes of governance challenges for health security across EU member states.

Originality/value

This paper provides a novel interrogation of the pandemic influenza case study in the context of UK governance and public policy by providing a strategic policy lens from perspective of elites.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

James Waghorne

This article examines the impact of the 1919 influenza pandemic on the life and culture of Australian universities, and the curious absence of sustained discussion about…

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the impact of the 1919 influenza pandemic on the life and culture of Australian universities, and the curious absence of sustained discussion about the crisis in university magazines. It considers two contexts, from the perspective of the general university population, and from the particular focus of medical students.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary source for this analysis is based on detailed reading of university magazines across three universities, as well as other primary and secondary literature. The article was written during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited access to some other magazines held in library collections, but the corpus of material is more than sufficient.

Findings

This article shows that the pandemic further deferred the resumption of university life after a hiatus during the First World War. The failure to identify the causal agent limited technical discussion in medical school magazines.

Originality/value

This is one of the first dedicated studies of the effect of the 1919 influenza pandemic on Australian universities. It joins a growing body of work considering the effect of the influenza on different community groups.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Article

John Overby, Mike Rayburn, David C. Wyld and Kevin Hammond

Epidemiologists are concerned the next deadly global cognition will be a new kind of deadly flu which humans have no resistance. Since the 1960s, their alarm has been…

Abstract

Epidemiologists are concerned the next deadly global cognition will be a new kind of deadly flu which humans have no resistance. Since the 1960s, their alarm has been focused on a bird (avian) virus (H5N1). This virus is generally harmless in its host species, but it is extremely deadly when contracted by humans. H5N1 mutates quickly and tends to pick up genes from flu viruses that affect other species. The flu is far more contagious and harder to contain than the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. It is projected that 30‐40 per cent of the population would be infected in a H5N1 flu pandemic, and as many as one‐third would die. The 1918 Spanish flu caused 20 to 50 million deaths world wide. One scientist observed that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic could have caused civilisation to disappear within a few weeks. Currently, more than 50 million chickens have been slaughtered in eight Asian countries in efforts to curb the spread of avian influenza. This article examines the roots and dangers of the potential avian influenza pandemic, examining the business and social ramifications that could ensue if the worst case scenario occurs.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article

Steven E. Salterio

The purpose of this paper is to understand what are the best projections of these events effects on organizations and economies. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic leads…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand what are the best projections of these events effects on organizations and economies. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a combination of economic and public health circumstances that challenge the accounting for and accountability of organizations that are mostly outside of their experience and that of academics for the past 50 years.

Design/methodology/approach

Through evidence-based policymaking research, evaluation and reporting tools the author draws on the extant research literature to develop estimates of likely effects of these events on organizations and economies.

Findings

The process of investigating this subject led the author to write a short research synthesis paper (Salterio 2020a) that summarized the historical economic evidence about the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 and various simulations of potential pandemic macroeconomic effects. This evidence allowed the author to quantify the potential effects of the crisis less than a month into the North American economic shutdown.

Originality/value

Using that research synthesis the author responded to the call for papers for this special issue by reflecting on the lessons that this crisis has for managers and organizations from both an accountability and accounting perspective.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article

Kim Abildgren

The Spanish Flu 1918–1920 saw a high degree of excess mortality among young and healthy adults. The purpose of this paper is a further exploration of the hypothesis that…

Abstract

Purpose

The Spanish Flu 1918–1920 saw a high degree of excess mortality among young and healthy adults. The purpose of this paper is a further exploration of the hypothesis that high mortality risk during The Spanish Flu in Copenhagen was associated with early life exposure to The Russian Flu 1889–1892.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 37,000 individual-level death records in a new unique database from The Copenhagen City Archives combined with approximate cohort-specific population totals interpolated from official censuses of population, the author compiles monthly time series on all-cause mortality rates 1916–1922 in Copenhagen by gender and one-year birth cohorts. The author then analyses birth cohort effects on mortality risk during The Spanish Flu using regression analysis.

Findings

The author finds support for hypotheses relating early life exposure to The Russian Flu to mortality risk during The Spanish Flu. Some indications of possible gender heterogeneity during the first wave of The Spanish Flu – not found in previous studies – should be a topic for future research based on data from other countries.

Originality/value

Due to lack of individual-level death records with exact dates of birth and death, previous studies on The Spanish Flu in Denmark and many other countries have relied on data with lower birth cohort resolutions than the one-year birth cohorts used in this study. The analysis in this paper illustrates how archival Big Data can be used to gain new insights in studies on historical pandemics.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

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