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Emergency Management

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Explanation of Terms

A. Acronyms

B. Definitions

  1. Antigenic Drift: These are small changes in the virus that happen continually over time.Antigenic drift produces new virus strains that may not be recognized by the body's immune system. This process works as follows: a person infected with a particular flu virus strain develops antibody against that virus. As newer virus strains appear, the antibodies against the older strains no longer recognize the “newer” virus, and reinfection can occur. This is one of the main reasons why people can get the flu more than one time. In most years, one or two of the three virus strains in the influenza vaccine are updated to keep up with the changes in the circulating flu viruses. So, people who want to be protected from flu need to get a flu shot every year.
  2. Antiviral medication: A medication that may prevent or inhibit the growth and reproduction of viruses and is used to treat or prevent disease in those exposed or at risk of exposure.
  3. Catastrophic incident: For purposes of the National Response Plan (NRP), describes any natural or man made occurrence that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, property damage, or disruptions that severely affect the population, infrastructure, environment,economy, national morale, and/or government functions. An occurrence of this magnitude would result in sustained, national impacts over a prolonged period of time and would immediately overwhelm local and state capabilities.
  4. Control measures: Actions necessary to prevent and control the spread of communicable disease include but are not limited to immunization, detection, detention, restriction,disinfection, decontamination, isolation, quarantine, chemoprophylaxis, preventive therapy,prevention and education. Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code allows control measures to be imposed on individuals, property, areas, or common carriers.
  5. COVID-19-Corona Virus: COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some people who are infected may not have symptoms. For people who have symptoms, illness can range from mild to severe. Adults 65 years and older and people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. People 12 years and older should get COVID-19 vaccines to prevent getting and spreading the illness.
  6. Emerging Health Issues Advisory (EHIA) Group: A group of individuals would be created in the event of Pandemic Threat. The group may be represented by the Office of Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), Student Housing and Residential Life, International Programs Office, Learning Abroad,University Marketing and Media Relations, and Facilities, who make recommendations to the EOT regarding health related concerns for the university as well as during health related incidents.
  7. Health authority: A physician appointed under Section 121.021 of the Health and Safety Code to administer state and local laws relating to public health within the appointing body’s jurisdiction. A local health authority has considerable power that allows the health authority to investigate suspected incidents and outbreaks of communicable disease, and to initiate control measures as indicated. Establishing, maintaining, and enforcing quarantine in the health authority’s jurisdiction is one of the local health authority’s explicit legal duties. Non-compliance with a health authority’s written order can subject an individual to court-ordered management. The public health authority for the University of Houston-Victoria is County of Victoria Health Department, Victoria Fire Department EMS, and/or the current local public health authority for the City of Victoria.
  8. Isolation: The separation and restriction of movement of people with a specific communicable disease to contain the spread of the disease. People in isolation may be cared for in their homes, hospitals, designated health care facilities, or other dedicated facilities.
  9. Outbreak: A sudden increase in the number of cases of a specific disease or clinical symptoms.
  10. Pandemic Influenza: A worldwide outbreak of a novel (newly emerged) influenza virus causing sudden, pervasive illness that can severely affect even otherwise healthy individuals in all age groups. Pandemic influenza occurs infrequently and at irregular intervals and has the potential for substantial impact resulting in increased morbidity and mortality, significant social disruption, and severe economic costs. To assist in international planning and response activities, the World Health Organization has defined periods and phases of a pandemic influenza.
  11. Point of Care Testing Rapid Flu A and B: A nasal swab sample provides immediate results and rapid diagnosis of Influenza A&B.
  12. Quarantine: Separation and restriction of movement of well people who may have been exposed to an infectious agent and may be infected but are not yet ill. Quarantine usually occurs in the home but can be in a dedicated facility or hospital. The term quarantine also can be applied to restrictions of movement into or out of buildings, other structures, and public conveyances. In addition, specific areas or communities may be quarantined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also is empowered to detain, medically examine, or conditionally release people suspected of carrying certain communicable diseases at points of arrival in, and departure from, the United States (U.S.) or across state lines.
  13. Strategic National Stockpile (SNS): National repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes,antitoxins, antiviral medications, vaccines, life-support medications, intravenous-administration and airway-maintenance supplies, and medical or surgical material for use in adeclared biological or chemical terrorism incident or other major public health emergency.
  14. Surveillance: Systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data regarding a health event for use in response actions to reduce morbidity and mortality. The objective of surveillance is to effectively guide action efforts locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.
  15. Viral shedding: The expelling of virus particles from the body. Virus shedding is an important means of disease transmission.
  16. Wave: A period of time, usually six-to-eight weeks, characterized by the beginning of illness in a population, escalation of illness over time to a maximum number of people infected, then slowing infection rates. A wave is followed by a period of normalcy. Pandemic influenza is expected to have two or three waves.