The Center for Domestic Preparedness recently wrapped up the first of two Highly Infectious Disease (HID) Theme Weeks it will host during 2019 on its campus in Anniston, Ala.

The intent of the weeks is to enhance healthcare practitioners’ ability to treat patients with highly infectious diseases, from the first signs of illness to isolation and recovery. 

The opening HID Theme Week, Aug. 27-30, included a couple of firsts.  

While the CDP was busy delivering three courses – Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents, Barrier Precautions and Controls for Highly Infectious Disease and Personal Protective Measures for Biological Events – Texas A&M University’s Engineering Extension Office, or TEEX, conducted its Medical Countermeasures: Point of Dispensing, Planning, and Response course here.  TEEX also joined with the CDP and operated two separate dispensing points during the Center’s Integrated Capstone Event, an exercise at the end of the week where students from multiple courses and disciplines work together to respond to one or more simulated incidents patterned after recent real-world events.

The week also included the use of the CDP’s new Highly Infectious Disease Ward for the first time.  The ward spans more than 4,000 square feet and includes a number of patient treatment areas with cameras, which allows healthcare providers to monitor ‘mock’ patients from afar, as well as attending nurses and doctors to communicate with other medical personnel outside during training.

In all, more than 130 healthcare practitioners participated in the critical, advanced training. 

The Center expects the same number of responders at the second HID Theme Week, which will run Nov. 4-8.