Preparedness for short-term isolation among Queensland residents: implications for pandemic and disaster planning

Aitken, Peter, Leggat, Peter A., Brown, Lawrence H., and Speare, Richard (2010) Preparedness for short-term isolation among Queensland residents: implications for pandemic and disaster planning. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 22 (5). pp. 435-441.

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Abstract

Objective: Short-term isolation might occur during pandemic disease or natural disasters. We sought to measure preparedness for short-term isolation in an Australian state during pandemic (H1N1) 2009.

Methods: Data were collected as part of the Queensland Social Survey (QSS) 2009. Two questions related to preparedness for 3 days of isolation were incorporated into QSS 2009. Associations between demographic variables and preparedness were analysed using χ2, with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: Most respondents (93.6%; confidence interval [CI] 92.2–94.9%) would have enough food to last 3 days, but only 53.6% (CI 50.9–56.4%) would have sufficient food and potable water if isolated for 3 days with an interruption in utility services. Subpopulations that were less likely to have sufficient food and potable water reserves for 3 days' isolation without utility services included single people, households with children under 18 years of age, people living in South-East Queensland or urban areas, those with higher levels of education and people employed in health or community service occupations.

Conclusions: The majority of Queensland's population consider themselves to have sufficient food supplies to cope with isolation for a period of 3 days. Far fewer would have sufficient reserves if they were isolated for a similar period with an interruption in utility services. The lower level of preparedness among health and community service workers has implications for maintaining the continuity of health services.

Item ID: 15935
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: disease outbreak, disaster planning, human, influenza, public health, viral disease
ISSN: 1742-6723
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2011 12:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Inequalities @ 40%
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