Cablegate: Hong Kong Pandemic Planning: Cdc Visit and Outreach
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHHM
DE RUEHHK #0616 0941024
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031024Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4559
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 0719
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2079
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY 3708
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH PRIORITY 0812
RUEHVN/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE PRIORITY 9602
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU PRIORITY 1278
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU PRIORITY 1151
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY PRIORITY 0318
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI PRIORITY
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG PRIORITY 3725
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI PRIORITY 4898
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
UNCLAS HONG KONG 000616
STATE FOR EAP/CM, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP, AIAG, OES/IHA, MED
HHS FOR OGHA - STEIGER, HICKEY
CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID AND COGH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU EAGR CASC AMED AMGT PINR MO HK
SUBJECT: HONG KONG PANDEMIC PLANNING: CDC VISIT AND OUTREACH
1. (U) Summary. Lisa Koonin, Infectious Disease Expert with
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
visited Hong Kong on March 28 to aid post and local U.S.
businesses in their pandemic planning efforts. Post convened
a meeting of the Consulate's internal Avian Influenza Working
Group (AIWG) to hear about recent global policy developments
and community mitigation planning recommendations,
particularly focused on Consulate personnel and American
Citizens. Koonin was extremely interested in Hong Kong's
recent flu-related primary school closure as important case
study for pandemic policymakers. As a result of Koonin's
visit, Post is reviewing Emergency Action Plan and tripwire
documents for revisions, and will conduct an AI tabletop
exercise to test response capabilities and effectiveness.
The Hong Kong American Chamber also hosted Koonin as a
keynote speaker on "Post SARS: Pandemic Planning for
Businesses." In this well-attended event, Koonin reiterated
the necessity of pre-outbreak planning as the foundation for
an early, targeted and layered pandemic response. End
2. (U) Lisa Koonin, Infectious Disease Expert with the U.S.
CDC visited Hong Kong on March 28 en route to an
APEC-sponsored pandemic planning for SMEs training session in
Taiwan. While in Hong Kong, Koonin met with Post's AIWG to
discuss pandemic policy and community mitigation strategies.
The AIWG includes representatives from across the mission,
both State and non-State, American and local personnel.
Koonin discussed a full range of pandemic-related issues,
including: a historical look of the U.S. 1918 pandemic;
resources/policies at www.pandemicflu.gov; the critical role
of risk communication; a three-prong approach to community
mitigation; and the CDC's current outlook for a pandemic
occurrence, from H5N1 or another source.
3. (U) Koonin was extremely interested in Hong Kong's recent
primary school closure as a result of seasonal flu outbreaks.
She noted that this response was not only important practice
for a much larger and more serious outbreak, but also a
useful case study for policymakers as they review community
response to government containment actions. Based on the
March 28 discussion Post is reviewing Emergency Action Plan
and tripwire documents for needed revisions, and will conduct
an AI tabletop exercise to test overall response capabilities
4. (U) The Hong Kong American Chamber of Commerce also hosted
Koonin as a keynote speaker on "Post SARS: Pandemic Planning
for Businesses." This event was attended by over 40 U.S.
business representatives, from multinationals to SMEs.
During a comprehensive overview of pandemic planning, Koonin
reiterated the necessity of pre-outbreak planning as the
foundation for an early, targeted and layered pandemic
response, and encouraged businesses to utilize the "Pandemic
Preparedness Planning" checklist for businesses from the USG.
Hong Kong-based businesses are generally well-prepared for a
pandemic outbreak following their experiences with SARS in
2002-2003. Nevertheless, participants found Koonin's
presentation informative and helpful as they considered
measures to address future crises.
5. (U) Post's point of contact is ESTH Officer Dawn Schrepel,
who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 852-2841-2104