A Program to Prepare for a Possible Influenza Pandemic
It is important that it is understood that an influenza pandemic is said to have occurred if it meets the following criteria;
- When a new virus is determined to have emerged within a population, and there is little or no immunity among the human population involved. It is due to this compromised immunity that the virus is seen to infect people and ends up causing serious medical complications in the population.
- The rate at which the virus spreads from one person to the other is very high for normal medical strategies to stop it.
It is important that health care sector gets prepared for influenza pandemic owing to past statistics that indicate the severity of influenza. In 1968, influenza pandemic attacked the US population where it caused about 34,000 deaths while the worldwide number of death reached 700, 000. In 1957, health statistics shows that about 70,000 people died in the United States of influenza (Schuchat, Bell, & Redd, 2010). It is for this reason that preparedness for an influenza pandemic is very important.
Challenges due to Influenza Pandemic
The rapid rate at which this virus spreads during a pandemic is a big challenge which is considered to be inevitable. It is for this purpose that preparedness should be assumed that all members of the community are susceptible. Despite the travel restrictions that are at times offered, the virus still continues to affect new populations. Once this pandemic strikes, medical supplies are always limited where vaccines always run out (“Planning & Preparedness | Flu.gov”, 2016). In cases of a worldwide spread of this virus, the supply of antiviral drugs is likely to be insufficient while other medical resources continue to get depleted.
What to do in case of Influenza pandemic
It is important that the population is informed about the pandemic and what they can do to keep safe. This will be achieved by receiving updates from the media and health facilities about what is being done and the available vaccinations. Social distancing is encouraged to avoid closed areas as much as possible in high suspected regions (“Planning & Preparedness | Flu.gov”, 2016). In case the spread is severe, community containment is advisable where public gatherings and public transports are banned. Isolation of the sick and quarantine will greatly help to cut short the spread of this pandemic.
Planning & Preparedness | Flu.gov. (2016). Flu.gov. Retrieved 7 October 2016, from
Schuchat, A., Bell, B., & Redd, S. (2010). The Science behind Preparing and Responding to
Pandemic Influenza: The Lessons and Limits of Science. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 52(Supplement 1), S8-S12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciq007