Term Paper: H1N1 Briefing Case Briefing: This Case Details

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H1N1 Briefing

Case Briefing:

This case details the outbreak of the H1N1 flu in Tennessee during 2009, from the initial appearance of the flu strain to the first Tennessee cases in the spring of the year through the virus' dissipation and subsidence in the winter of 2009-1010. Public health entities and their successes and failures in preparing for and then addressing the flu's progress in the face of certain practical difficulties are the focus of the description provided by the authors, with imbalances and inefficiencies in the distribution of vaccines and thus in the availability of the vaccine to the general population and sensitive target groups forming the fundamental problem in this case. Topics involved include healthcare, the complexities of intra-governmental and governmental-private interactions, and organizational communication.


The H1N1 flu virus was initially identified in Mexico, Texas, and California, in April of 2009, and other states began preparing for an epidemic due to the lack of vaccine for this new and apparently virulent strain. Knowledge about the flu was limited and recommendations from the CDC regarding preparedness and reactions were uncertain and frequently changing in the early days of the virus' spread, leading to some confusion with school closures in Tennessee after the first cases appeared there. The Public health officials and network seemed well-prepared for the worst, however, and had time over the summer to hold meetings with other relevant entities and parties and to develop a registration system for healthcare practitioners -- physicians and pharmacists -- that would help to ensure vaccines were delivered in a fair and timely manner in accordance with established priorities once a vaccine had been developed. The flu began to spread in earnest during September, after schools were back in session, yet a vaccine did not become available until October and was at first only available in a form not fit for certain high-risk (and therefore high priority) groups. Misunderstandings and miscommunications regarding the vaccine's availability exacerbated the issue of availability, and though the flu strain proved to be less virulent and less easily spread than initially feared missteps were made in informing practitioners and the public of best practices in confronting the flu. By the time the vaccine was widely available there was lessened demand due to public fears and the subsidence of the epidemic worries.


The H1N1 flu scare was part of a series of viral epidemic scares that created something of a subdued panic during the first decade of the new millennium. SARS, the Avian Flu, the Hanta virus, and others became fairly regular news items that excited public interest and quite rightly led to adjustments in medical preparedness and protocol. The CDC remained a consistent and centralized source both for providing data and recommendations to state health departments as well as tracking cases through reports from medical offices, however the coordination of prevention and treatment efforts at the operational level was very much a matter for individual states and, depending on each state's system, state regions/counties. Tennessee had a mixed system with some centralized and some more regionalized decision-making abilities, as the case describes, and the lack of centralization as well as a lack of truly accurate and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

H1N1 Briefing Case Briefing: This Case Details.  (2012, October 18).  Retrieved December 5, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/h1n1-briefing-case-details/5847492

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"H1N1 Briefing Case Briefing: This Case Details."  18 October 2012.  Web.  5 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/h1n1-briefing-case-details/5847492>.

Chicago Format

"H1N1 Briefing Case Briefing: This Case Details."  Essaytown.com.  October 18, 2012.  Accessed December 5, 2019.