A deadly new virus has killed thousands in the Far East and is very contagious. It is now found to be spreading in the United States. One antiviral drug is the only known treatment, and that drug is in short supply. It will take months to ramp up manufacturing for this medication.
The virus struck your town a few days ago. It affects people of all ages and demographics, including your healthcare workers. Once contracted, 20% die if not treated with the antiviral drug. It is particularly deadly for healthy pre-teens and pregnant women.
Your community’s public health agency will receive the first shipment of drug in a few days, but only enough to treat about ½ of the seriously ill patients who need it. This must be divided up among the hospitals and clinics. Once exhausted, there is no other pipeline to access the drug.
You are the Director of the Health Department, and your agency is preparing guidelines for which patients to treat with this limited supply drug.
Answer each of the following questions on the Discussion Board. All answers and replies should be substantive. Back up all positions/opinions with credible peer-reviewed literature research.
- In your first post, answer each of the following questions:
• Should your agency’s guidelines prioritize healthcare workers for priority treatment? What about other workers that society relies upon like police, fire fighters and other key workers?
• What are the best reasons for and against such a policy?
• Your agency has recommended to you that the limited supply drug be given to the two high-risk groups (young adults and pregnant women). Do you agree with this approach, why or why not?