Epidemic or pandemic events involve the widespread outbreak of disease and have the potential to create major social, economic, and political turmoil. Examples of epidemics include meningitis, measles, pertussis, and chicken pox. Ithaca College created this Epidemic Response Plan to help guide the college during such a crisis, no matter how large the scale or impact. The goal is to provide for the health and safety of the IC community (students, faculty, and staff).
The Epidemic Response Plan outlines objectives and actions that students, their families, faculty, and staff can expect the college to take, depending on the specifics of an epidemic scenario.
The following characteristics of an epidemic were taken into consideration in the creation of this plan:
- Rapid spread: The entire population is considered susceptible. Travel restrictions or bans may not be able to fully prevent spread
- Overload of health care systems: Infection rates will soar and will strain available medical care facilities and staff
- Universal shortage of medical supplies: The need for vaccines and antiviral drugs will outstrip what's available, especially early in an epidemic or pandemic
- Economic and social disruption: Travel bans, school and business closings and cancellations of events could have a major impact on communities and citizens. The need to care for sick family members and fear of exposure could result in significant worker absenteeism and economic slowdown.