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Delaware Health Alert Network #379

December 5, 2017 9:25 am

Health Advisory


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is forwarding this health advisory from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) to remind health care facilities to review their emergency response and disaster preparedness plans before this weekend.


The 118th annual Army versus Navy football game is scheduled to occur on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Those attending the event will begin to arrive in the Philadelphia area on Friday, December 8. Given the very public nature of this game and the military profile of those in attendance, federal, state, and local agencies are collaborating to ensure adequate safety and security of both those attending the game and the general public. At this time, the City of Philadelphia has received no information regarding threats specific to this event. The PDPH recommends that health care facilities review their emergency response and disaster preparedness plans before this weekend because of the heightened potential for terrorism.


Specific recommendations include:

  •  Evaluate facilities and personnel to ensure safety and security.
  •  Ensure that appropriate staff understand their roles in an emergency and communications protocols.
  •  Update clinical providers on biological, chemical, and radiological agents.
  •  Review procedures that address medical treatment of mass casualties, including crush injuries, decontamination protocols, the use of personal protective equipment, and triage protocols.
  •  Review procedures that address medical treatment of blast and bombing injuries.

PDPH reviews data daily from multiple sources to facilitate the recognition of disease outbreaks. However, PDPH relies on clinicians to report by telephone conditions that require immediate notification, including any outbreak, unusual presentation, or cluster of disease. Indicators of naturally-occurring outbreaks or possible biological terrorism are:

  •  An unusual temporal or geographic clustering of illness (such as persons who attended the same public event or gathering).
  •  Increase in serious lower respiratory illness with negative tests for common bacteria and viruses.
  •  Patients presenting with clinical signs and symptoms that suggest an infectious disease outbreak (such as more than two persons presenting with an unexplained febrile illness associated with sepsis, pneumonia, respiratory failure, or rash or a botulism-like syndrome with flaccid muscle paralysis, especially if occurring in otherwise healthy persons).
  •  An unusual age distribution for common diseases (such as an increase in chickenpox-like illness in adult patients).
  •  Single cases of disease due to uncommon, non-indigenous agents (such as anthrax, plague, tularemia) in patients with no history suggesting exposure.
  •  Large number of cases of acute flaccid paralysis with prominent bulbar palsies, suggestive of a release of botulinum toxin.


Because of the size of the event, the proximity to Delaware, and the current threat climate, Delaware facilities need to prepare for the possibility that they may see patients from this event.

Call the DPH Office of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness to report conditions requiring immediate notification, or to obtain public health consultation. DPH will also facilitate diagnostic testing requiring public health laboratory services.

  •  During normal business hours, call 302-223-1720
  •  After business hours, call 302-744-4700


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  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
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