Search

US HIGH HOSPITALIZATION RATES IN FLU SEASON AND KYIV RESIDENTS WARNED TO LEAVE IF ENERGY IS ATTACKED

November 3-9, 2022 | Issue 27 - Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2)

Jennifer Radlinsky, Breyona Woods, EMH2 Team

Justin Maurina, Editor; Manja Vitasovic, Senior Editor


Intensive care unit [1]


Date: November 4, 2022

Location: USA

Parties involved: US; US medical officials; Canada

The event: The flu season in the US resulted in a high hospitalization rate and at least 730 deaths. Medical officials are blaming low flu vaccinations, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outbreak in children, and prolonged COVID-19 infections for the high hospitalization rates. Decreasing face mask use to mitigate respiratory diseases spread is potentially allowing viruses to circulate quicker and further as COVID-19 protocols like social distancing end.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Missed routine vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic will very likely cause increased susceptibility to previously controlled diseases, such as measles and pertussis. Vaccine hesitancy will likely contribute to fewer vaccinations and potential outbreaks, especially in low-income areas where information and effective healthcare are unlikely to be readily available. Low vaccination rates will likely increase vulnerability to the infection, likely risking severe conditions like flu and COVID-19, very likely requiring hospitalization and causing deaths.

  • A return to in-person learning from the remote study during the COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly spread illnesses quicker among children in school settings. Widespread outbreaks will likely prompt school districts to use part-time remote learning to minimize children’s exposure to infections, likely risking their ability to perform well and advance to the next grade. Teachers will likely get infected in contact with sick children in schools, likely causing workforce shortages while education workers are ill at home.

  • Manufacturers of antibiotics and antivirals will very likely scale production to meet the demand caused by high infection rates. Rapid depletion of manufacturing supplies like ingredients and pill bottles will likely delay patient shipment and delivery. Increased supply chain delivery times will likely cause some care providers to prescribe less effective medications, lengthening treatment times and risking long-term health complications.


Date: November 7, 2022

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Parties involved: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko; Kyiv residents; Russian military; NGOs

The event: Zelensky warned that the Russian military attacks on infrastructure would potentially leave many without energy. Klitschko advised Kyiv residents to make evacuation plans for attacks destroying the city’s infrastructure. Ukrainian officials are urging residents to leave if power is entirely cut-off.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • A spike in illnesses is very likely, due to cold homes. Individuals will likely have to find alternative residences, likely initiating a mass population displacement to cities with secure power grids. Many civilians will likely be vulnerable to hazards like missiles and shelling as they search for shelter.

  • Russian targeting of infrastructure will almost certainly cause citizens to flee their homes for safety, likely causing increased population displacement. Increased shelling of civilian structures like schools and dwellings will likely leave fewer safe areas in Kyiv, likely leading to an increase in Ukrainians migrating to neighboring countries like Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Shelters in receiving countries will likely be overcrowded and lack necessities like heat and hot water. Insufficient financial resources from NGOs running shelters and an increased influx of refugees during winter will almost certainly leave Ukrainians vulnerable to illnesses and death.

  • An abrupt increase in deaths, without adequate space to properly store the bodies, will likely cause overcrowding in emergency care facilities. This will likely require burying the deceased in makeshift graves. Incorrectly disposed bodies will likely cause odors and bacteria to spread, likely harming people who inhale the toxic fumes.

 

[1]"Intensive care unit", by Gerd Altmann licensed under Public Domain

[2] US flu season off to a fast start as other viruses spread, AP, November 2022, https://apnews.com/article/science-health-pandemics-covid-flu-7c784678637e51d4a8508f5dde70cded

[3] Ukraine war: Kyiv Mayor Klitschko warns of evacuations if power lost, BBC, November 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63535263

27 views