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Cablegate: Avian Influenza - Santiago, Update On Sec for Usmc

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A)STATE 209622 B)02135

1. SUMMARY: The DCM convened a meeting of the Emergency
Action Committee (EAC) at Embassy Santiago on 11/22/05 to
discuss the Avian Influenza Trip wires for Chile. The EAC
also reviewed final security preparations for the 230th USMC
BAll. The meeting was chaired by the DCM with AMB, RAO,
MGT, and MSG present. END SUMMARY.

2. The EAC discussed security for the 230th USMC Ball that
will be held on November 26, 2005 at the Marriott Hotel in
Santiago, Chile. RSO has coordinated security with local
police who will use metal detectors, k-9 units, explosive
detection machines and police special reaction teams. The
EAC is confident that sufficient security will be present to
secure the site. RSO will also request additional support
from local police for Embassy residences the night of the
ball. The EAC has no information on any potential threats at
this time.

3. The following baseline Tripwires were approved by the
Santiago EAC and in substance by RMO Brooks Taylor.
The following proposed tripwires address the possibility of
human cases of avian influenza in Chile and/or evidence of
the virus demonstrating more efficient human-to-human
transmission elsewhere in the world. These tripwires are
based on the following assumptions, should sustained
human-to-human transmission become a reality. To avoid
repetition, only new measures taken under each Tripwire are
listed - all previous measures under previous Tripwires will
be maintained.

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A. The disease would spread rapidly, both within a
particular country and internationally.
B. Once the World Health Organization has declared a human
pandemic - but probably even before then - airlines will
cancel flights as countries try to control the spread of the
disease. Some countries may bar individuals coming from
infected countries.
C. The Embassy must keep in mind "double standard" concerns,
and will coordinate consular, medical, evacuation, etc. with
appropriate Department offices.
D. The Embassy must keep in mind that many of its children
attend international schools, which must be kept in the
information loop as well.
E. The Embassy should carefully consider all the
ramifications of authorized departure and/or ordered
departure, as in fact it may be safer to actually remain in
F. The Embassy should remain in constant contact with
Clinica Las Condes and Clinica Alemana, as well as with the
Ministry of Health.
G. The Embassy will procure sufficient supplies of Tamiflu,
N100 Nano-masks, N95 masks, and additional hand cleansers, as
well as the items recommended in the RMO,s list.

4. Tripwire 1: Any case of avian influenza among humans in

Action: Management Section/Health Unit will send an
information notice to all Mission personnel and the Consular
Section will send a warden message to all American citizens
detailing the episode, and suggest preventive measures. The
notice will also be posted on the Embassy website. Embassy
will notify RMO Lima and State Med.

5. Tripwire 2: Confirmed human-to-human transmission occurs
in one or more neighboring countries - singly or in clusters
- but not in Chile. This is particularly significant if
there are multiple, geographically diverse clusters, or if a
cluster occurs in a major transit hub.

a. Consider immediate authorized departure of U.S. family
members and non-emergency personnel in consultation with
State, if the U.S. itself is relatively avian flu-free and if
the airlines are flying. Have evacuation plans for both the
healthy and sick. Explore evacuation by military airlift.
b. Institute screening practices for all visitors to U.S.
Government facilities, limit their numbers, and refuse entry
to those visibly ill or who are coughing.
c. Order mandatory sick leave for any employee who shows any
flu-like symptoms or has a family member with flu-like
symptoms. The Health Unit will issue detailed flu symptom
descriptions (also to appear in "Santiago Scene") and monitor
Embassy employees.
d. Issue a warden announcement to American citizens.
e. Require use of masks and hand cleansers, AND consider use
of the prophylactic Tamiflu ( oseltamivir) by U.S. and
Chilean staff in positions that require contact with the

6. Tripwire 3: Significant numbers of human cases of avian
flu (H5N1, H7N7 or others), presumably transmitted from birds
or other animals, appear in Chile, but without evidence of
sustained human-to-human transmission.

a. All official and unofficial travel to affected areas,
bird markets and similar facilities will be prohibited.
Outside visitors to the Embassy will continue to be limited.
Tamiflu will be given as a prophylactic to those U.S. and
Chilean staff who have regular contact with the general
public as part of their work.
b. Management Section will send a warning announcement to
Mission personnel. The Consular Section will send a warden
message to private American citizens and to tourist hotels
and cruise ships that are frequented by traveling Americans.
Embassy will post the warning announcement on the Embassy
c. Health Unit will provide detailed briefing to Embassy
community, and if appropriate, to the international schools.
Check with Las Condes and Alemana to ensure that they are
still able to handle large numbers of avian flu patients.
d. Consider authorized departure measures or even ordered
departure measures - in conjunction with the State Department
- if the airlines are still flying and if there are any
recognized safehaven countries who are accepting outsiders.
Communicate pertinent information and options to the Embassy
community at town hall meetings or via e-mail, as the
timeline will be short.
e. Issue Travel Warning to Americans considering travel to
Chile, in conjunction with the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
f. Encourage all employees to stock up on food and other
necessities in the event there is an announcement of an
imminent pandemic.

7. Tripwire 4: Sustained human-to-human transmission in
Chile, but not in Santiago. This is particularly significant
if there are multiple, geographically diverse clusters.

a. Reduction to emergency consular services only for
American citizens. No visa services (except on a severely
restricted case-by-case basis), as it would be expected that
commercial airlines have cancelled flights.
b. Implement authorized departure. Consider ordered
departure in conjunction with State Med, at the discretion of
the Chief of Mission. If commercial airlines not flying,
consider use of military airlift. Ideal would be to have
enough people leave post so that those left behind equal the
amount of Tamiflu on hand.
c. Consider implementing selective administrative leave for
those Americans who remain at post and FSN employees.
Consider other options for minimizing workplace exposure,
like tele-commuting.
d. Continue mandatory sick leave for any employee who shows
any flu-like symptoms or has a family member with flu-like
e. Consider home quarantine and limiting venues of
human-to-human contact.
f. Mandatory screening of visitors, who shall be limited to
those whose business absolutely must be conducted in person;
mandatory use of protective gear, especially N95 masks for
Embassy screeners.
g. Health Unit to initiate appropriate use of prophylactic
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for minimal U.S. and Chilean staff
remaining on the job.
h. Update warden message, Travel Warning, and Consular
Information Sheet.

8. Tripwire 5: Sustained human-to-human transmission, as
evidenced by clusters of cases in Santiago.

a. Implement ordered departure, if airlines are still
servicing Santiago, and if there are any avian flu-free
countries to fly to. Consider use of military airlift, if
the U.S. or any avian flu-free countries are allowing
incoming flights from affected areas.
b. Implement administrative leave for all FSNs. Consider
other options for minimizing workplace exposure, like
c. Initiate appropriate prophylactic use of Tamiflu for all
American employees and family members remaining at post.
d. Issue warden update and inform American community that
the Embassy will only offer emergency AmCit services by phone.

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