Pandemic Flu Awareness
In October 2005, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that if pandemic flu was to hit the US, approximately 200,000 to 2 million people could possibly die. This was based on models from past pandemics including the Spanish Flu (1918), the Asian Flu (1957), and the Hong Kong Flu (1968). The government further estimates that up to 40% of the workforce could be absent from work at the height of a pandemic wave. The potential impact on the social and economic infrastructure is enormous. To address this, the government has released a response plan called the "National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan," referred to as "the Strategy." The Strategy outlines the roles and responsibilities of governmental and nongovernmental entities, but clearly indicates that the center of gravity for pandemic response will be at the community level. According to the Strategy, "sustaining the operations of critical infrastructure under conditions of pandemic influenza will depend largely on each organization's development and implementation plans for business continuity of operations under conditions of staffing shortages and to protect the health of their workforce." In other words, it is essential for all institutions and businesses to develop their own pandemic plan. It isn't too early to start planning how you and your organization will respond to the very real threat of a flu pandemic. In fact, there could be a point when it is too late. This course is designed to increase awareness of the pandemic threat the flu poses and to provide information that can be used to form the basis of preparedness and prevention for your organization. This course also includes the latest information concerning the H1N1 (swine) flu which the World Health Organization has indicated that a pandemic is underway.