Total Posts 22
In the last century, three influenza pandemics have swept the globe. In 1918, the first pandemic (sometimes
referred to as the “Spanish Flu”) killed over 500,000 Americans and more than 20 million people
worldwide. One-third of the U.S. population was infected, and average life expectancy was reduced by 13
years. Pandemics in 1957 and 1968 killed tens of thousands of Americans and millions across the world.
Scientists believe that viruses from birds played a role in each of those outbreaks.
Today, we face a new threat. A new influenza strain — influenza A (H5N1) — is spreading through bird
populations across Asia, Africa, and Europe, infecting domesticated birds, including ducks and chickens,
and long-range migratory birds. The first recorded appearance of H5N1 in humans occurred in Hong
Kong in 1997. Since then, the virus has infected over 200 people in the Eastern Hemisphere, with a
mortality rate of over 50 percent.
At this time, avian influenza is primarily an animal disease. Human infections are generally limited to
individuals who come into direct contact with infected birds. If the virus develops the capacity for
sustained, efficient, human-to-human transmission, however, it could spread quickly around the globe.
In response to this threat, the President issued the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza on November
1, 2005. The Strategy outlines the coordinated Federal Government effort to prepare for pandemic
influenza. Of equal importance, the Strategy underscores the critical roles that State, local, and tribal
authorities, the private sector, and communities must play to address the threat of a pandemic, and the
concrete steps that individuals can and should take to protect themselves and their families.
This Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza further clarifies the roles and
responsibilities of governmental and non-governmental entities, including Federal, State, local, and tribal
authorities and regional, national, and international stakeholders, and provides preparedness guidance
for all segments of society.
The Plan addresses the following topics:
• Chapters 2 and 3 (U.S. Government Planning and Response) describe the unique threat posed by a
pandemic that would spread across the globe over a period of many months; the specific and coordinated
actions to be taken by the Federal Government as well as its capabilities and limitations in
responding to the sustained and distributed burden of a pandemic; and the central importance of
comprehensive preparation at the State, local, and community levels to address medical and nonmedical
impacts with available resources.
• Chapters 4 and 5 (International Efforts and Transportation and Borders) outline steps we will take to
work with our international partners to prevent, slow, or limit the spread of infection globally and in
the United States, and describe proposed measures for effective management of our borders and the
transportation sector during a pandemic.
• Chapter 6 (Protecting Human Health) details the critical actions that public health authorities, nongovernmental
organizations, the private sector, and individuals should take to protect human health
and reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by a pandemic.
• Chapter 7 (Protecting Animal Health) highlights the actions necessary to prevent and contain
outbreaks in animals with the aim of reducing human exposure and the opportunity for viral mutation
that could result in efficient human-to-human transmission.
• Chapter 8 (Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Security) outlines the support that State and local law
enforcement and public safety agencies must provide, with appropriate Federal assistance, to public
health efforts and essential public safety services, and to maintain public order.
• Chapter 9 (Institutional Considerations) provides guidance for the preparation of essential pandemic
plans by Federal, State, local, and tribal authorities, businesses, schools, and non-governmental organizations
to ensure continuity of operations and maintenance of critical infrastructure. It also provides
guidance for families and individuals to ensure appropriate personal protection. To address the threat of
pandemic influenza, it is essential that such plans be put in place as soon as possible.
The Implementation Plan represents a comprehensive effort by the Federal Government to identify the
critical steps that must be taken immediately and over the coming months and years to address the threat
of an influenza pandemic. It assigns specific responsibilities to Departments and Agencies across the
Federal Government, and includes measures of progress and timelines for implementation to ensure that
we meet our preparedness objectives.
This Plan will be revised over time. The pandemic threat is constantly evolving, as is our level of
preparedness. The actions, priorities, timelines and measures of progress will be reviewed on a continuous
basis and revised as appropriate to reflect changes in our understanding of the threat and the state
of relevant response capabilities and technologies. Additional details regarding the implementation of
this Plan are included at the conclusion of Chapter 1.
The active engagement and full involvement of all levels of government and all segments of society,
including at the community level, are critical for an effective response. Ultimately, however, the actions
of individuals will be the key to our response.
The complete document (233 pages) can be found Here.