An influenza pandemic is an epidemic on a global scale. Pandemics occur because of the ability of the influenza virus to change into new types or strains. The three characteristics of a pandemic are: the development of a novel strain of virus (a strain to which a large proportion of the society is susceptible because of lack of prior exposure), transmissibility of the strain from person to person, and the virulence of the viral infection (the capacity to cause severe morbidity and mortality). Three such pandemics have occurred in this century alone, causing millions of deaths.
Experts consider that another influenza pandemic is to be anticipated. Over the past several years, public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have supported and encouraged state and local influenza pandemic planning initiatives. Federal health agencies, state and local health departments are continuously monitoring the avian influenza situations overseas and preparing for the “best case” as well as “worst case” scenario should a pandemic occur.
Should a pandemic occur many critical services may be affected including healthcare, transportation, food, water, medicines, etc. It will be everyone’s responsibility to prepare a plan for themselves, their families, their businesses and their schools.
Pandemic Flu Planning Guides and Checklists:
Community and Faith-based Organization Planning
Health Care Professional/Facility Planning