Pandemic Preparedness

 
Public health officials and organizations around the world remain on alert because of increasing concerns about the prospect of an influenza pandemic (PDF Fact Sheet). Moreover, recent problems with the availability and strain-specificity of vaccine for annual flu epidemics in some countries and the rise of pandemic strains of avian flu (PDF Fact Sheet) in disparate geographic regions have alarmed experts about the world's ability to prevent or contain a human pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is rising to the challenge with the Influenza Pandemic Response Plan (IPRP).     

The PA Influenza Pandemic Response Plan (IPRP) details the phases of an influenza pandemic according to the CDC’s draft guidelines, identifies the roles and responsibilities of key public health responders for the operational components to include surveillance, medical, and emergency response; vaccine/pharmaceutical procurement, distribution and administration; and communications and education.  It also identifies command and control protocols, policy guidelines, legal authorities and organizational structures that facilitate pandemic response activities.  The plan is based on the influenza model, but could be adapted for use in response to other pandemic situations.