Infectious Diseases

The place to discuss issues being debated in the 2009-2010 school year -- briefs, legislation and debate.

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Infectious Diseases

Postby bfenster » Thu May 14, 2009 11:32 am

Millennium Development Goal #6 is to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Of course this spring we've had dire warnings of a possible pandemic with the swine flu. Is the world prepared for the outbreak of a serious pandemic? What can be done about the existing diseases that plague huge swaths of the developing world?

A brief on the topic will be posted by the end of the 2009 school year. Legislation, as always, will be written at the work session.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby gotrimski » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:54 pm

Infectious Diseases Brief

Introduction


In today's globalized world, the spread of infectious diseases and the threat of a global pandemic are ever more present. Modern technology and advances in transportation including cross-continental air travel have allowed people (and disease) to travel quickly and efficiently. Cross-continent air travel opens the door for an outbreak or pandemic to occur at any time. This is the price the world must pay for globalization. Since the bubonic plague in the fourteenth century, disease prevention and treatment has improved greatly. However, the world is still susceptible to an outbreak at virtually any time. SARS, The Spanish Flu, and most recently H1N1 (Swine Flu) have all caused widespread infection and, depending on the severity and treatment of the virus, even death. The World Health Organization (WHO) works round the clock to prevent such outbreaks, and to control the spread of them once they do occur. It is through the work of NGOs like WHO and with the cooperation of member states that the United Nations can hope to establish better prevention and containment of disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is a valuable and useful organization within the UN that should be used by the General Assembly to its fullest extent. WHO has had numerous successes in the past. In 1979, with the help of member states, WHO successfully eradicated smallpox from the world. WHO went on a campaign to eradicate the virus beginning in 1967. Before its eradication, Smallpox had infected and killed millions. WHO also helped reduce the amount of Polio cases by more than 99%. In 2003, WHO successfully fought and contained the SARS virus after its outbreak in eastern Asia in 2003. With the support of WHO, the General assembly can hope to be very effective in any resolutions it passes.

Prevention


Disease preparedness in all countries throughout the world can be improved. A disease can spread at a frightening pace without the proper defenses against it, and can come from virtually anywhere at anytime. Diseases are by their very nature unpredictable, and it is that which makes them dangerous and deadly. This unpredictability factor is what makes prevention and proper disease defenses ever more important. Prevention is always much easier and more effective than containment and cures. One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of disease is simple communication. Immediate notification of an outbreak on an international level can stop a disease at its early stages, before it becomes a global pandemic. Because disease can spread so quickly in today's world, notification and proper warning at a moment's notice is of the utmost importance. Such communication between nations may seem like an obvious and basic solution, but nevertheless proper communication is very rarely seen.

Containment and Treatment


Containment of outbreaks is equally important as prevention. Once an outbreak occurs, fast action is required to stop it in its tracks and prevent it from spreading to a larger area. Containment of the disease can be achieved by communication and proper treatment. In more developed countries, the treatment of the disease may be much easier. For instance, whereas 36 people in the US died from the outbreak of Swine Flu several months ago, 117 in Mexico died from the outbreak and 577 died in Brazil. Taken directly from the WHO website, Global Alert and response page were the International Health Regulations:
• Specific procedures for notification, consultation, and reporting of public health events
• The establishment of permanent communication channels, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between countries and WHO
• The possibility for WHO to take into account reports from sources other than notifications or consultations.
• Verification requests by WHO to national health authorities regarding reports of public health events occurring within countries
• An Emergency Committee which provides its views to the WHO Director General with regard to events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
• Cooperation of WHO with other competent intergovernmental organizations or international bodies
In the IHR's annual report, it states that all Ports, Airports, and Ground Crossings should have the capacity at all times to:
1. At all times
The capacities:
(a) to provide access to (i) an appropriate medical service including diagnostic facilities
located so as to allow the prompt assessment and care of ill travellers, and (ii) adequate staff,
equipment and premises;
(b) to provide access to equipment and personnel for the transport of ill travellers to an
appropriate medical facility;
(c) to provide trained personnel for the inspection of conveyances;
(d) to ensure a safe environment for travellers using point of entry facilities, including
potable water supplies, eating establishments, flight catering facilities, public washrooms,
appropriate solid and liquid waste disposal services and other potential risk areas, by conducting
inspection programmes, as appropriate; and
(e) to provide as far as practicable a programme and trained personnel for the control of
vectors and reservoirs in and near points of entry.
2. For responding to events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern
The capacities:
(a) to provide appropriate public health emergency response by establishing and maintaining
a public health emergency contingency plan, including the nomination of a coordinator and
contact points for relevant point of entry, public health and other agencies and services;
(b) to provide assessment of and care for affected travellers or animals by establishing
arrangements with local medical and veterinary facilities for their isolation, treatment and other
support services that may be required;
(c) to provide appropriate space, separate from other travellers, to interview suspect or
affected persons;
(d) to provide for the assessment and, if required, quarantine of suspect travellers, preferably
in facilities away from the point of entry;
(e) to apply recommended measures to disinsect, derat, disinfect, decontaminate or otherwise
treat baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods or postal parcels including, when
appropriate, at locations specially designated and equipped for this purpose;
(f) to apply entry or exit controls for arriving and departing travellers; and
(g) to provide access to specially designated equipment, and to trained personnel with
appropriate personal protection, for the transfer of travellers who may carry infection or
contamination.
Links and Resources
International Health Regulations - http://www.who.int/ihr/en/
World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/en/
International Health Regulations Annual Report - http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2 ... 10_eng.pdf

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby BeWang » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:23 pm

Japan is highly concerned about the possibility of the spread of infectious diseases. Considering we (and the majority of the other east Asian Nations) have a high population density, an outbreak of disease could quickly decimate our populations. As such, its pretty obvious that we (the UN) have to do something.

First on the list is the establishment of an effective quarantine system, in order to control outbreaks. International standards should be put into place to prevent gaps in coverage that could allow a disease to spread. Such standards must be quick to implement and effective. Along those lines, member nations should ensure that all victims a particular disease get adequate healthcare, at the very least to prevent the spread of the disease. Japan acknowledges the fact that a premature deployment of a quarantine system may wreck local economies, and is receptive to ideas to reconcile the need for decisive and effective quarantine standards, and daily economic necessities.

More later...

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby pmcavaddy » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:41 pm

Egypt feels that not enough is being done worldwide to stop viruses, and now especially the swine flu. People seem to hope that swine flu will disappear, and yet death tolls are estimated to peak in October. Though Egypt received critism for the killing of swine, at least our country is stepping forward and taking action. Egypt agrees with Japan, and also feels that disease must be traced back to its roots and stopped there first. In the case of swine flu, swine farms need better animal management to prevent further transmission from pig to human, and the pigs themselves, though rarely at risk of dying themselves, need to be given vaccine. Now we are not asking for every pig in countries to be vaccinated, especially in these economic times, but those swine farms near crowded cities or towns should be dealt with.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby BeWang » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Japan wonders where Egypt received its information from. The Swine flu was not directly transmitted from pigs, the H1N1 virus is a hybrid of human, avian and swine flus.

But anyway, to continue, Japan also believes that reliable and open dialogue opens up between nations regarding disease outbreaks and vaccine developments. For instance, quite recently, a lack of government openess lead to the spread of SARS to many people throughout China, Canada, and Singapore to name a few. It was only due to the timely efforts of the WHO that the SARS virus did not become a pandemic. Quite frankly, the world should work together to prevent another fiasco like this. We got lucky that time If we aren't careful, we may not be so lucky later.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby EWang » Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:17 am

The United States of America agree with Japan that measures must be taken to encourage communication and cooperation between nations in regards to infectious diseases. In our globalized world, governmental cooperation by all countries is absolutely essential to the containment of these dangerous diseases. Furthermore, the scientific community should be able to work cooperatively on treatments and vaccines beyond national borders.

Here's some food for thought: there's been more than 500,000 H1N1 cases (http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com) and almost 3,500 deaths as of 9/18. Now, while H1N1 can currently be treated and the mortality percentage (approx. 0.7%) may not scare many people, scientists have warned that the H1N1 virus could potentially mutate into a more lethal form in the future. As for an idea of just how much damage a more lethal form could do, an extremely deadly form of H1N1 infected one third of the world's population (an estimated 500 million people out of 1.6 billion) in 1918 and killed an estimated 50 million.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby SRaghavan » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:00 am

The key to containing such viruses is definitely to monitor the spread of diseases via air travel.

As a personal anecdote, I would like to mention that during my trip to India, I was appalled at the horrible lavatories in air india flights AND airplanes in general.

In such a crowded place, I noticed so MANY people coughing, wheezing, and sniffling and I was in constant fear that one of them could have been carrying the deadly swine flu virus. More so, I was afraid to go to the bathroom to even wash my face out of fear that the small, unsanitary area contained the virus.

lAVATORIES in ariplanes and other public areas should be constantly cleaned or sanitized. A good example of this Singapore, a country in which sanitary standards are the best possible.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby vallada » Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:04 pm

Water borne illnesses are also another big issue to go along with all the infectious disesases. About i billion people do not have access to clean water, thats about one in every six or seven people. In third world countries better hospitals need to be set up. By better I mean that they should be more sanitary, better medication, mosquito nets for every patient, and the facilities should be bigger to create more space so not everything is so cramped. Containing these water borne diseases is hard but if there are more sanitary hospitals fatalities can be prevented,

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby BeWang » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:16 pm

Resolution 1.1
Sponsors: Japan, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Spain
Signatories: Norway, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Luxembourg, Bahamas, South Korea, Turkey

Acknowledging the high potential for the transmission of diseases in the modern world,

Recognizing that international cooperation in research and information plays a pivotal role in combating disease,

Fearing a repeat of epidemics such as the 1918 influenza or SARS,

Keeping in mind that certain methods of disease control can be counterproductive and detrimental to society

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the United Nations assembled:

1) Defines an infectious disease as an infection by microorganisms of human beings with a high potential for spread between individuals.

2) Calls upon the World Health Organization to combat the spread of infectious diseases through:
a: Sponsoring acts of NGOS including but not limited to:
i. Improving sanitation in developing nations
ii. Better the education of the people in order to spread awareness of infectious diseases and combating their proliferation.
iii. Improving the medical care available to people within third world nations.
iv. Distributing medicine and vaccines in case of an outbreak of disease.
b: Establishing a dialogue between the scientists and authorities of the nations of the world concerning information about outbreaks, cures to diseases, and other related development.
c: Sponsor programs devoted to eradicating certain infectious disease.

3) Encourages active measures by nations to reduce the transmission and threat posed by infectious diseases by:
a: Stockpiling medicines and vaccines withing the country
b: Distributing medicines, vaccines, and disease barriers such as facial masks in case of an outbreak
c: Funding research into pharmaceutical development of medicines for infectious diseases.
d: Facilitating the actions of NGOs within their borders.

4) Regrets actions which do not prevent the spread of disease while presenting economic or social problems, such as
a: The culling of animals or plants which do not provide a vector for infectious disease.
b: Unnecessary or overly stringent quarantines
c: Ostracization of nations, groups or people associated with a disease.

Feel free to criticize, suggest new sections/subsections, retract/request signatory status, etc. The bill is not set in stone, and the best bet to make it as good as it can get is by debating the resolution.
Last edited by BeWang on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby galukal » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:23 pm

3d. facilitating the actions of NGOs within their borders.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby bfenster » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:09 pm

Who is supposed to be posting 1-2?

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby JCasto » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:11 pm

Garrett took it home with him.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby gotrimski » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:14 pm

Resolution 1.2
Sponsors: Russia, India, North Korea, China, Pakistan, Switzerland, Argentina, Singapore, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Egypt

Recognizing the global threat the spread of disease and pandemics pose to the world population,

Acknowledging the importance of disease preparedness and precaution,

Confident that a better system of worldwide disease prevention and pandemic prevention can be established,

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the United Nations Assembled:

1. Urges nations of the world to implement a system of disease screenings for each citizen exiting the country and traveling to an international destination;

2. Recommends the use of the World Health Organization (WHO) as a buffer for nations to report and receive reliable information about disease prevention and control, as well as warnings and precautions of any potential future outbreaks;

3. Establishes a Global Disease Communications Network (GDCN) through the WHO for the sole purpose of sharing information and important updates on current and future outbreaks; The (GDCN) would provide for:
a. Fast communication and relay of important information relating to disease,
b. Momentary Alerts relating to emergency procedures and recommendations for action;

4. Reminds the body of the possible dangers of a mutated Swine Flu virus, and of the ramifications of inaction;

5. Recommends countries to pool knowledge in order to expedite the creation of a proper vaccine if found to be both necessary and appropriate.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby VSharma » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:36 pm

Pertaining to resolution 1.1:
Only a few specific infectious diseases should be dealt with at once. Resolution 1.1 broadly states infectious diseases which refers to any or all . Supervising all epidemics simultaneously will lead to a dead end. Turky prioritizes that the prevention of malaria, AIDs, and parasitic diseases should be completed first before moving on to others.

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Re: Infectious Diseases

Postby galukal » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:02 pm

The UK disagrees with Turkey's position. Scientists swap information all the time, and the world cannot afford to be caught flat-footed the next time a new disease comes along, i.e. H1N1 or avian flu. Prevention should be a large priority.

Resolution 1-2 is flawed in that it is too specific (swine flu) and may create complacency about diseases in general. However, it is decidedly vague in any preventative steps.

Res. 1-1 is far superior to 1-2. 1-1 contains specific steps on how to prevent disease outbreaks and deal with those already started. It also makes use of NGOs, unlike 1-2. NGOs are a great boon to the United Nations since they provide us with extra funding and manpower, along with allowing more specialized or long-term tasks to get done more efficiently.

A proper solution in conceptual rather than focused on one example, has specific preventative measures, makes use of NGOs, and takes care not to cause adverse economic effects- the hallmark of Resolution 1-1, and not, I'm afraid, Res. 1-2.

By the way, in the UN, "Great Britain" is referred to as the United Kingdom, and I will be editing that.
--------------------------------------------------

Speakers

For UN meetings, we have 1 pro and 1 con speaker for each resolution. They each speak 3 minutes (it may be 2, I don't remember, someone please clarify).

Post here if you would like to speak and on what position. I may contact people to get speakers if I see fit.


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