Ebook: Pandemics and Bioterrorism
This book is a collection of papers presented at the NATO ASI conference Transdisciplinary Information Sharing for Decision-Making against Biological Threats. Traditionally, it has been natural disasters and industrial accidents which have posed the greatest threat to society, but increasingly, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) emergencies present new challenges, with the potential to become global threats on an unprecedented scale. This has led to calls for the international community to implement a ‘new way of thinking’ to enable better communication worldwide to counter the threat of global terrorism. A successful counter terrorism strategy requires cooperation between agencies traditionally reluctant to share information: governments, industry, the scientific community and civil society in general. The body of knowledge and experience being developed in this field is now so immense that a new information sharing paradigm is required for these various disciplines in different societies to properly understand each other. The key obstacle to any scientific, technical or social process is inefficient or non-existent information sharing. This work is of interest to anyone involved in the mitigation, preparedness, response to or recovery from disasters of any kind. Highlighting strategic enablers such as cross-disciplinary information sharing, international outreach and partner activities, public diplomacy and strategic communication, it is a robust step towards a new era of genuine cross-silo information sharing and cooperation in an atmosphere of trust.
“Either we work together to rise to the challenges or we condemn ourselves to irrelevance”
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
The history of human civilization and the development of the modern world is inextricably linked to various types of emergencies and disasters: epidemics, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat and cold, fires etc.; societies have continuously been subjected to natural and man-man disasters. This preface begins with a few examples of the historic and prehistoric natural disasters known to us which can teach us important lessons about disaster preparedness and mitigation.
The Italian volcano Mt. Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 AD, killing thousands of people and smothering the towns of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum with ash. The volcano is still a threat and the area is much more densely populated today than it was two thousand years ago.
The plague of Athens, which occurred in the fifth century BC, is the best known of the ancient plagues and another important example of a historical disaster. Two more devastating ancient plagues were the Athenian of 430 BC (to which Pericles succumbed during the Peloponesian War) and the Justinian of AD 542.
Malaria is a disease that has threatened humankind with frequent outbreaks throughout the last several thousand years, another is shistisomiasis, a disease caused by parasitic blood flukes. Cholera may have been the reason for the Assyrian forces suddenly abandoning their siege of Jerusalem in 700 BC and polio was present in isolated cases in ancient Egypt.
Biological weapons have been in use since at least the seventh century BC, when Scythian archers dipped their arrows in blood, dung or decomposing bodies to stop the invading Assyrians.
We have some information on the development of inoculation and vaccination: pock sowing is recorded in a sanskrit text of the second or third century AD. Scientists argue that most diseases have presented a more serious threat as civilization has advanced.
Nowadays, disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives and leave thousands more homeless every year. Statistics of injuries suffered due to disasters are rarely taken into account, but for earthquakes, the rate is about 30 people injured for every death; for hurricanes it is closer to 50 to 1. The impact of a disaster is felt far beyond the immediate area affected. More than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries.
Industrialized countries, on the other hand, tend to suffer more from economic damage: the financial impact of natural and man-made disasters totals hundreds of billons of US dollars. GNP (Gross National Product) lost due to disasters tends to be 20 times greater in developing countries than in their developed neighbors, however, hurricane Katrina in the US entailed the highest total damage by far, at $135 billion.
Here are a few examples of natural and man-made disasters that took place in 2009.
Man-made disaster: more than 70 people perished in the accident of August 17 which destroyed three out of 10 turbines at RusHydro’s Sayano-Shushenskaya plant in southern Siberia, Russian Federation, and limited electricity supply to manufacturers. It has not been made clear whether it was due to human error or a technical failure. The repairs will cost 40 billion roubles ($1.28 billion) over four to five years.
Natural disasters: in the early morning (01:32) of Monday, April 6, central Italy was struck by an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude. The L’Aquila earthquake caused serious damage to several medieval hill towns in the region, killing over 260 residents, injuring over 1,000 and leaving 28,000 homeless.
The 2009 flu pandemic is a global outbreak of a new strain of an influenza: a virus subtype H1N1, first identified in April 2009, in Mexico. In early June, as the virus spread worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a pandemic. It has not been established where the virus originated.
Threats to mankind are constantly evolving, and national and international experts are examining and reviewing new plans and priorities applicable to today’s threats. The chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threats have recently come to the forefront of international discussions. Traditionally, natural disasters and industrial accidents have posed the greatest threat to people worldwide, but CBRNE emergencies present new challenges, with the potential to become global threats affecting the developing and developed world alike.
Srgjan Kerim, president of the U.N. General Assembly, called on the international community in Sept, 2008 to implement a “new way of thinking” to enable greater cooperation around the world to better counter global terrorism. The U.S./Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism (CTWG) met for its 16th session in June, 2008 in Moscow to update current plans and initiate new areas of cooperation in countering terrorist threats. But governments alone cannot protect people from terrorism. A complete counter-terrorism strategy requires cooperation between governments, businesses, scientists, communities, and civil society in general.
For centuries, the field of international peace and security was the province of politicians only, but times have changed, with academics, scientists, business, industry and the arts becoming more educated, knowledgeable, sophisticated, penetrative, and democratic in their diversity than ever before.
Because disasters are a global issue, the study of how to counter them is also a global issue. Counter-terrorism requires the cooperation and collaboration of multi-dimensional groups such as academics; representing the theoretical and research areas, policymakers; representing coordination and authorization aspects and professionals; representing practical and real life experiences.
A key obstacle to any human scientific, technical or social process is inefficient or non-existent information sharing mechanisms. It is not evident that everyone benefits by sharing information, but those who must act to counter global threats do. As information sharing implies education and training, these are necessary if we are to respond effectively to global threats.
The body of knowledge and experience being developed in these fields is so immense that a new information-sharing paradigm is required for the various disciplines in different societies to understand each other better.
New technologies have given the counter-emergency community an opportunity to build a collaborative, innovative, and knowledge sharing culture that will continue to engage in learning and research. The only impediment is the will to understand rather than to suppress each other. Everyone knows of outstanding scientific and academic initiatives such as the LHC (Large Hadron Collider, CERN) and the ISU (International Space University), famous for their incredible information sharing infrastructure. But countering global threats is not limited to science and education. The challenge of disaster preparedness and mitigation inevitably involves other sectors: politics, the military, medicine, law and law enforcement, industry, commerce, and grass roots approaches.
Key emergency countering forces should not be alone in their activity. They need help from other professionals. Moreover, the process requires social control and social interaction, as government structures are not always optimally positioned to effectively manage disasters.
The international project known as The Global Health Network Supercourse (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA) is considering the use of media outlets for effective information sharing among societies around the world. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the global actors which supports collaboration of world leaders in science, politics, technology, and other areas financially.
In his important paper, delivered at ‘Technology in Society’ 23(3), 2001, Prof. Fernando Carvalho-Rodrigues, director of the human and societal dynamics panel, Science for Peace and Security (SPS) program section of NATO, declared that the aim of NATO science programs is “putting scientists and politicians in the same loop”.The idea of holding a multidimensional cross-silo meeting (Prof. Carvallo-Rodrigues’ “loop”) has been the subject of discussion and design by a 4 member team: E. Gursky (USA), A. Rossodivita (Italy), E. Stikova (FYR Macedonia), and A. Trufanov (RF) since 2006.
As a rule, actions and instruments for countering global threats are multi or interdisciplinary, however, the meeting held in Milan, Italy, in 2008 was different. Its aim was to be cross-disciplinary (not only interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary but transdisciplinary as well), a term usually applied to the spheres of education and research. According to the definitions of Stokol and Rosenfield, transdisciplinary conceptual frameworks are characterized as reflecting a higher degree of integration than is achieved through interdisciplinary collaboration. The least-integrative forms of cross-disciplinary research or education activity, are multidisciplinary projects in which participating scholars remain conceptually and methodologically anchored in their respective fields
Moreover this meeting has been conceived as a cross-silo collaborative effort. That means cross-disciplinary, cross-national, cross-agency, cross-departmental, cross-level…, and cross- society concepts for diverse groups of pertinent actors.
The initiative was inspired by our distinguished colleagues, who developed the Supercourse effort, including Ronald LaPorte, Faina Linkov and Eugene Shubnikov, as well as by editors of the Journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, AMA (J. James, I. Subbarao).
Eventually, the project, entitled “Preparing regional leaders with the knowledge, training and instruments for information sharing and decision making against biological threats and pandemics” was selected by the NATO SPS program for financial and organizational support.
Developing the key NATO SPS events – ARW in Kaunas, Lithuania, 2005 and ASI in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, 2006, which focused of the ever-increasing frequency and severity of natural and man-made emergencies and disasters, the third pertinent meeting, ASI, was convened on Nov 29–Dec 10, 2008, in Milan. This initiative was aimed at further supplementing the efforts to transfer technology and knowledge and so help decrease the vulnerability of the population to natural, technogenic, and anthropogenic threats.
As foreseen by expert analysis, the follow-up ASI tried to unify the efforts of the scientific, academic and practical communities, creating a greater understanding and information sharing in the field of countering biological threats. The venue of the ASI was originally to be in Irkutsk, RF in early October, 2008, however the 2008 South Ossetia war, also known as the Russia–Georgia war, forced a change to the scheduling and venue of this event.
The conference was held in Milan in December 2008. Italy has a prominent history in the field. For example: the first world conference on health emergencies in technological disasters was organized by the Italian Department of Civil Protection in Rome, May, 1992. Continuing this tradition, the ASI Italian team; specifically A. Rossodivita, A. Caruso, M. Guidotti, and M. Ranghieri and their assistants, prepared to launch this as a prestigious event. We would like to thank the team for their organization skills, especially given the time pressures involved in planning this event. Their efforts to support the sessions, meetings and visits technically and spiritually were more than successful and in accord with the ideal of cross-silo cooperation.
All those attending felt welcome and were given the opportunity to work, network, attend site visits, and interact with colleagues.
We have been greatly impressed by and are grateful for the help that Italian organizations and their officials provided to the ASI. Specifically, we wish to thank:
- San Raffaele Hospital, in particular its President Don L. Verzè and the Supervisor for Health Policy: Dr. G. Zoppei
- The Sovereign Military Order of Malta in particular Col. M. Terrasi
- The Italian Association of Alpine (ANA) in particular Prof. P. Losapio
- The Italian Air Force Medical Service in particular Gen. O. Sarlo, Gen. N. Barale and Col. L. Oliva
- The Military Hospital of Milan in particular Gen. S. Valentino
- The Italian Association For Solidarity Among People (AISPO) in particular Dr. G. Zoppei and Dr. R. Corrado.
All the participants appreciated the attention of Italian civil and military circles. The audience was greatly inspired by a letter of greeting from the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napoletano. We all appreciated Adm. Vincenzo Martines (Italy) for his speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, and the leader of the Russian delegation, Prof. S. Kolesnikov, Vice- Chairman of the Committee on Public Health, State Duma, Federal Assembly - Parliament of the Russian Federation, who posed key questions of international cooperation in the field of epidemics and pandemics; Dr. James, Director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response, American Medical Association (AMA) for his interest in the ASI and Prof. Di Paolantonio, who presented on behalf of the Italian chapter of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Throughout, the environment of the ASI was one of mutual support and of learning from one another, and genuinely cooperative. The organizers proposed, and attendees accepted, a wide range of activities focused on a creative a friendly atmosphere and plenty of networking opportunities. The choice of topic was timely and proactive as it occurred on the eve of the swine flu outbreak.
The agenda consisted of numerous lectures, seminars, and discussions, addressing a wide range of information sharing regimes and concomitant issues. The principal focus (preemptively, for infection diseases) was on how cooperation and the sharing of data in disasters can affect both the prevention and mitigation environments.
The conferences of Kaunas and Skopje were excellent in terms of multidisciplinary and international efforts. But the Milan meeting actually initiated cross-disciplinary and cross-border collaboration, bringing politicians, scientists, and the military closer to each other. ASI succeeded in expanding the information sharing territory with politicians, the military, doctors, scientists and the media. The main benefit for attendees was the creation of a bridge from science to application in the collaborative pursuit of better outcomes.
The list of 65 ASI contributors we would like to thank reflects the extensive experience in the participating countries (15 NATO + partners) in the field of combating natural and man-made disasters, as well as their secondary impact on democratic processes and the understanding between societies at different levels in and across the countries.
Undoubtedly this material, on the topic of information sharing while countering biohazards, will be of great value to a wider circle of readers.
The audience for publication includes specialists within various areas of research and teaching plus those working in the field who are responsible for mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery actions.
This ASI served to put representatives of diverse circles “into the same loop” and the discussions that took place at the event covered some of the following: improving cooperation among different groups, actors, and organizations and using lessons learned to improve impact, and how to reduce communication barriers between diverse silo circles.
The mix of papers highlights strategic enablers that will allow countering communities to prevent disasters and emergencies, protect against global threats and recover should an event take place. These enablers are cross-disciplinary information sharing, international outreach and partner activities, public diplomacy and strategic communication. To be in line with the discussed approaches, all anti-emergency entities must foster cooperation with partners from other countries and international and regional organizations in order to develop a common understanding of global threats.
This collection of ASI papers serves as a showcase of disaster preparedness and mitigation work from various nations, and demonstrates how and to what extent experts form different countries and fields understand and collaborate with each other.
Collaboration between researchers and consumers of research in this translational approach is critical to reduce the threat burden for nations and consequential damage, the ultimate measure of benefit to all people. This concept of sharing information on the scope, content, and goals within threat countering is based on the work of those who have come to the ASI. The collection of papers recounts a volume of interaction between research, education and practice that has resulted in the current expertise in the field of global disasters and emergencies.
New synergy outputs and outcomes might be anticipated from such cross-silo scope. This concept had been central in the editing and realization of this book and we cannot help emphasizing the energetic and decisive cooperative contribution of the editorial board.
In our opinion, both the ASI and the book are modest but robust steps towards a new era of genuine cross-silo information sharing and cooperation in an atmosphere of trust. However, the next steps must be innovative and aggressive, and we hope the NATO SPS program will continue to regard its efforts in support of this direction as being of paramount value.
Alessandra Rossodivita and Andrey Trufanov, ASI co-directors
Within this study a qualitative review has been conducted leading to a clarifying finding of Cooperation and Information Interaction in the field of counteracting biological threats. Three cornerstone incentives of Information Sharing have been highlighted: Psychological, Technological and Economical. The proposals to use the architecture experience of CERN; strategy of ISE, USA; standards, rules and formats of NIEM, USA; practice of EMERCOM, RF for building a Global Anti-Terrorism Information Sharing Infrastructure are presented.
Twenty-first-century natural and deliberate catastrophic health events have demonstrated their potential to strain existing medical and public health systems’ capacities. Changing climates, the emergence of new diseases, globalization, and limited global health governance each has the potential to further challenge the delivery of public health and medical care in the coming decades. World leaders must now prepare for the threat of an influenza pandemic that could disrupt lives, devastate communities, and destroy economies. NATO has extensive experience in planning and conducting multinational operations and is uniquely positioned to guide nations’ pandemic preparedness efforts. From November 30, 2008, to December 8, 2008, the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program sponsored an Advanced Studies Institute in Milan, Italy, to help regional leaders to better prepare for pandemic threats. Over the course of two weeks, 60 participants from almost 20 countries collaborated and shared knowledge and training learned from current pandemic planning efforts. This paper attempts to summarize some of the major critical lessons from past catastrophes – lessons that are intended to inform future NATO pandemic preparedness efforts by member countries.
The paper presents the most relevant characteristics, history and activities of the LEFIS network as possible model for the constitution of a network dedicated to counteract natural and man-made disasters.
The emergence of life-threatening infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g. Ebola and Marburg viral infections), the new resurgence in terrorism after September 11, 2001, and the threat of bio-terrorism, highlighted the urgent need for efficient control practices in health care. A dramatic increase in the need to develop countermeasures including civilian protection against bio-terrorism and emergency preparedness drive the policy-makers to develop new strategy and management guidelines. New codes in ethics and laws for bio-terrorism and disaster emergencies and related research have been improved over the last five years. Failure to apply infection control measures favors the spread of pathogens, and the health care setting can act as amplifiers of outbreaks, with an impact on both hospital and community health. The recent pandemics and environmental emergencies suggest that it is necessary to redefine the roles of states, municipalities, and nations under the principles of federalism and on the national and international levels in different countries. In the era of globalization and international laws the authors would highlight and focus the attention of the new International Health Regulations (IHR), put forward by the WHO, in which it is underlined the importance of human rights principles linked with the concept and need to balance the effective response to risk of diseases compared to fundamental individual freedoms. The authors would like to focus the attention on human rights from an international perspective in order to better understand the international point of view on this matter, concerning the legal and political implications of a pandemic or a biological threat, terrorism and counter-terrorism health consequences and related issues.
Part I of this article is a summary of some of the major economic effects of a pandemic, especially a pandemic entailing a severe strain of influenza. The study is mainly quantitative in nature and is based on several models created and run by government and private agencies in the United States and by international organizations involved in public health. The principle scenarios analyzed are based on the influenza pandemics of 1918 (“Spanish flu”), 1957, 1968 (“Hong Kong flu”), 2003 (SARS) and 2005-to-present (H5N1 avian flu). Both actual historical and forecast model data are included. Pandemic economics is a topic of research & teaching at Texas A&M University’s Integrative Center for Homeland Security. Part II of this article summarizes many of the nation-specific and multinational systemic effects of a pandemic, especially a pandemic entailing a severe strain of influenza. The study is mainly qualitative in nature and is a collection of information from a variety of sources from the US, other nations, and international organizations. Recent events have demonstrated the fragility of the major systems that civilization depends on. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and financial breakdowns may only be preludes to a systemic collapse precipitated by an uncontrollable pandemic. In today’s world, we are all dependent on the continuation of complex and interdependent systems that are the operational “machines” of societies, economies, governments, and businesses.
Preserving health and medical care access during extreme demands on service delivery in a disaster or public health emergency is vital to the population and state, national and global security. Health security broadly encompasses the strategic, tactical, and operational infrastructure and hardening that ensures health system preparedness, the delivery of appropriate health and medical services, and swift recovery on behalf of impacted populations. This definition of heath security focuses on a measurable preparedness outcome by fostering resilience and meeting the critical and time-sensitive health and medical demands of affected communities. Health security as an inherent piece of quality health systems is a novel concept. Achieving health security in this manner requires a reengineered strategic approach. Responsibility and ownership for health security resides within the health care system. Like pieces of a puzzle, key health system components impacting disaster medicine and public health emergency readiness must be in place and include the following: planning, capacity & capability, public health preparedness, education & training, and scientific advancement. Utilization and integration of these components within the health system framework require excellence in the core tools of communication, collaboration and implementation. Health security, the often-missing piece of the health system, is now an inherent piece of the puzzle.
While the availability and production of CBRN weapons cannot be controlled as in the case of conventional weapons, the increase in number of nuclear and petrochemical plants, as well as the developments in biological sciences, has increased the risk of non-conventional industrial disasters defined as ROTA events. Therefore, many countries have started to take serious measures for the protection of civilians and military against the effect of CBRN disasters. The use of special teams to organize Emergencies Preparedness Offices (EPO) is vital: this overview will explain duties and assessments of EPO in a modern society.
Influenza experts recognize the inevitability of an influenza pandemic, most probably an avian flu pandemic. Most indications suggest it is just a matter of time. Objective: To assess emergency department healthcare professionals’ (HCP) risk perception, possible affection of attendance pattern and willingness to work during a pandemic. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was administered to physicians, nurses and auxiliary personnel of the Emergency Department, Short Observation Unit and Intensive Emergency Medicine Unit (Emergency Dept Unit, admitting patients with severe, acute medical conditions, excluding patients requiring invasive ventilation), employed in the Padova University Hospitals, Italy. Results: The overall response rate was: 69%; physicians 94%, nurses 73%, auxiliary personnel 56%. Conclusions: 1) there is a lack of the “culture of emergency” concerning epidemics/pandemics, which are emergencies ED personnel is not acquainted with; 2) in order to be able to cope with highly stressful situations like epidemics, the importance of timely, thorough information is paramount, regardless of the different methods; 3) periodic drills, continuous training, and active participation in acquiring information and training can create the sensation of making part of the whole system, thus increasing commitment.
This chapter considers the process of preparing for a pandemic or major biological terrorism attack in terms of the organisational structure of civil defence and civil protection systems. The former are usually centralised at the national level and focus on security issues, while the latter tend to be devolved to the local level and to focus on public safety. Misconceptions about biological threats are discussed in the light of their potential impact upon preparedness. There are many incorrect or debatable assumptions about biological risks that need to be countered or at least fully discussed. For instance, anthrax is not a white powder, as is commonly supposed, panic is not a common reaction to threats, and at the world scale terrorism does not have a wildly fluctuating trend. The chapter ends with a modest classification of uncertainty and a discussion of its impact upon preparedness.
Nanosciences and nanotechnology can be considered as resources for the humankind, providing innovative tools and devices for the protection and decontamination from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) warfare agents. At the same time, these disciplines may offer unprecedented and uncontrolled means of mass destruction, by the synthesis of novel and more effective aggressive agents or by improving the production capability of intentionally toxic systems. A multidisciplinary approach, with experts active in various fields, such as chemistry, physics, biology and materials science, is needed to have a strict control on potential illegal uses of nanosciences and nanosystems.
The main attention is paid to some chemicals related to the group named as endocrine disrupting factors. First of all, it is observed the proposed methods based on the biosensorics principles and intended for the express estimation of total toxicity at the screening analysis of environmental objects, revealing of individual toxins and for the diagnostics of diseases induced by viruses. At the beginning the efficiency of the developed biosensor is analyzed in case of the work with the standard solution. Then the obtained results are compared with that received at the application of biosensors in real conditions. The working prototypes of biosensors are created for the application in the area of human and veterinary medicine, ecology and biotechnology.
Different pathogenic bacteria appeared capable of survival in groundwater longer than 100 days, and perhaps, they can be transported for distances from the site of contamination. Their elimination by a predator such as Bdellovibrio sp., seems to fail under an ambient temperature of about 10 °C. Also in model groundwater microcosms, bacteria bearing either natural or recombinant plasmids appeared detectable for up to 150 days, and the expression of plasmids remained stable. The survival of all bacteria under testing, however, was evidently handicapped in non-autoclaved groundwater samples, i.e., those containing natural microbial population.
Interconnection between geological environment and urbanization is discussed in this lecture.
The term ‘Mass Destruction Weapons’ encompasses any intentionally negative event caused by biological, chemical and nuclear agents. A more specific definition could be: all those harmful agents which cause death or injury to people in a non-conventional way and which damage, often irreversibly, the environment. There are similarities between non-conventional biological, chemical and nuclear agents and the spreading of pandemics. CBRN agents cause a psychological effect, such as fear and anxiety. The psychological impact gets a maximum after a terrorist attack or after the use the use of non-conventional weapons. For instance, the public opinion felt such sense of anxiety after the terrorist attack in the Japanese subway with the nerve agent, sarin, or in other occasions. Chemical toxic agents may have biological effects too and their dispersion in air could cause pandemic effects when they are in high concentration. The poor knowledge about Mass Destruction Weapons on population produces panic and a deep psychological impact. The defence actions against this kind of pandemics are prevention and education: prevention means informing population and organizing a national task force for rapid intervention and countermeasures; education means the organization of a proper information at School and in Academia about mass destruction weapons, their negative effects and the defence from them, with obligatory courses.
In this article diagnosis and treatment of traumatic cardiac injuries and cardiac pathology due to psychotic disturbance are discussed. It is necessary to stress that management of traumatic heart injury is very difficult. Programs for the management of stress-induced cardiac pathology, especially in vulnerable aged populations, are not yet formulated.
Former Soviet Union (FSU) SuperCourse is created in the frame of Supercourse project – online library of lectures in public health, epidemiology and Internet – www.pitt.edu/~super1. Education and information sharing is paramount to preventing all forms of diseases and conditions. The Supercourse Team asserts that the Internet provides a powerful and inexpensive tool for the improvement of health as well protection from disasters. To date, more than 500 public health workers from all 15 FSU countries have participated to integrate Internet-based education into prevention of all form of diseases and terrorism/bioterrorism. FSU Supercourse is collaboration of FSU scientists involved in prevention and the Internet for creation of Russian language library of lectures. The main topics of presentations include global health, information security, non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, disaster medicine, disaster preparedness and mitigation. The training in the area of prevention and Internet-Prevention (I-Prevention) is the primary goal of the collaboration. We started development of FSU Supercourse at the beginning of 2000 as a part of Drs.Shubnikov and Troufanov’s fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. The number of Internet users in Russia reached 2 million people in 2000. By the end of year 2006 the number of Internet users in Russia reached 21% of total population (about 30 million people). The fast growing of Internet users is big advantages for Internet based programs, but the number of Internet users in Russia still lower compare with European countries (more than 50%). Recently, we introduced a Russian language Supercourse web site at http://www.supercourse.pochta.ru/. More than 250 lectures translated into Russian language already available, including lecture by Dr.Noji on Public Health Disaster Consequences of Disasters. Creation and development of country or language specific libraries of lectures and development of scientific networks as FSU Supercourse, is a tool for education and improving global health including prevention of biological threats and pandemics. Our FSU Supercourse may become a backbone for other health and science projects in FSU countries.
Public health communications is a serious concern worldwide. Improved information exchange is the most cost effective means to improve public health. There needs to be access to high quality epidemiological educational data and information as to how best to do research for public health professionals and instructors world wide. Existing Internet based materials on public health awareness, disaster communications, and environmental health are poorly organized, their scientific quality is questionable, and they are often difficult to obtain due to high cost. The Supercourse project (www.pitt.edu/~super1) is a collection of over 3600 lectures on public health, prevention, and Internet, targeting the teacher vs. the student. It is being developed by over 56000 faculty from 174 countries who are sharing for free their best lectures. Just in Time knowledge Supercourse network is currently being developed in order to foster the exchange of high quality prevention information and to create a trusted source of epidemiological information in the area of public health and preparedness. Supercourse project is aiming to close the digital divide through the development of low bandwidth lectures, opening mirrored servers in the developing countries, distribution of Supercourse CDs, and networking public health professionals from across the world. Quality control mechanisms for the lectures are developed based on our unique approach of multilayered quality control. Inadequate public health information exchange among health professionals may lead to poorly trained public health and medical students, inadequate prevention systems, and ultimately sicker population. Global, low cost, low bandwidth, high impact projects like Supercourse are needed to improve public health and preparedness world wide and foster communications between local and global scientists.
The model of the adaptive hierarchical information security system is considered in this article. The interdisciplinary approach is based on an immune reaction concept of a biological organism on an entered antigen. Math description of this study represents a system of kinetic differential equations of second order with saturation. Some dynamic interaction of an information security system attacked by threats has been explored.