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They present a real and daunting challenge to the economic and social wellbeing of any country, as well as a serious risk to the health of its population. These differences explain why we regard pandemic flu as such a serious threat.
Pandemic influenza is one of the most severe natural challenges likely to affect the UK, but sensible and proportionate preparation and collective action by the government, essential services, businesses, the media, other public, private and voluntary organisations and communities can help to mitigate its effects.
Inter-pandemic years provide a very important opportunity to develop and strengthen our preparations for the potentially devastating impact of an influenza pandemic, and the government will continue to take every practical step to prepare for and mitigate its health and wider socio-economic effects.
The Department of Health DH is the lead department for planning for a human influenza pandemic. However, given the wide impacts of a pandemic all government departments are involved in planning to mitigate its impacts.
This guide brings together available information on a possible influenza pandemic in order to support planning at all levels of society. However well developed, plans are unlikely to be successful without the active support of pandemic flu business plan and communities.
Therefore, a key part of the response will be to encourage the public to follow government advice and adopt basic hygiene measures to manage or reduce their own risk of catching or spreading the virus.
Ensuring that all of us are fully aware of the necessary precautionary and response measures, are prepared to cooperate actively with them and accept responsibility for helping themselves and others must therefore be an integral part of our overall preparedness strategy.
Few - if any - people will have any immunity to this new virus thus allowing it to spread easily and to cause more serious illness. The conditions that allow a new virus to develop and spread continue to exist, and some features of modern society, such as air travel, could accelerate the rate of spread.
Experts therefore agree that there is a high probability of a pandemic occurring, although the timing and impact are impossible to predict.
The H1N1 pandemic does not lessen the probability of a further pandemic in the near future, and should not be seen as representative of future pandemics.
Each pandemic is different and, until the virus starts circulating, it is impossible to predict its full effects.
As such, it is impossible to forecast the precise characteristics, spread and impact of a new influenza virus strain, however, based on historical information and scientific evidence we are able to predict the possible impacts: In the UK, up to one half of the population may become infected and between 20, andadditional deaths that is deaths that would not have happened over the same period of time had a pandemic not taken place may have occurred by the end of a pandemic in the UK.
In the absence of early or effective interventions, society is also likely to face social and economic disruption, significant threats to the continuity of essential services, lower production levels, shortages and distribution difficulties.
Large numbers of staff are likely to be absent from work at any one time.
More information on the challenges posed by an influenza pandemic, and the planning assumptions for pandemic preparedness can be found at: UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy and analysis of the scientific evidence base.
The World Health Organization WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network, comprising countries, acts as a global alert mechanism, monitoring circulating influenza viruses in order to detect the emergence of those with pandemic potential.
Further information on WHO flu preparations, including an assessment of influenza at the human-animal interface. UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy The UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy is aimed at guiding and supporting integrated contingency planning and preparations for pandemic influenza in health and social care organisations and more widely across government and public and private sector organisations.
It provides information on the likely impact of an influenza pandemic and sets out some of the key assumptions for use in response planning.
The UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy builds upon but supersedes the approach set out in the national framework for responding to an influenza pandemic and the Scottish equivalenttaking account of the experience and lessons learned in the H1N1 influenza pandemic and the latest scientific evidence.
An overview of the science underpinning the proposals in the strategy has also been published. International guidance The UK strategy with regards to international preparedness is covered in the UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy This supersedes the UK international preparedness strategy.
WHO global influenza preparedness plan WHO has developed a global influenza preparedness plan pdfwhich defines the responsibilities of WHO and national authorities in case of an influenza pandemic.WHO | PIP framework. influenza pandemic with direction from both the provincial and federal levels.
This involves liaising with local stakeholders (e.g. emergency responders, hospitals, mortuary services) in advance of a pandemic to facilitate a coordinated response Pandemic Influenza Business Continuity Plan. by Patti Dunham, MA, MBA, SPHR and Kristin Kaminski.
Throughout time, epidemic illnesses have claimed millions of lives. Pandemic influenza events include the flu which claimed 50 to million lives worldwide, the flu which claimed 70, lives, and the flu . Pandemic flu planning information for England and the devolved administrations, including guidance for organisations and businesses.
This Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan (PIPRP) provides the framework for the ODH to prepare for, identify, respond to and attempt to control an influenza pandemic.
Some of the topics addressed by the PIPRP include surveillance, emergency response. The Pandemic Influenza Business Planning Toolkit is in the public domain and may be reproduced, fully or partially, without permission.
Source credit is requested but not required. The Pandemic Influenza Business Planning Toolkit provides general guidance for businesses planning to respond to the threat of pandemic influenza.