The Center for Disease Control (CDC) once estimated that if a pandemic virus was to hit the US, approximately 200,000 to 2 million people could possibly die. This was based on models from past pandemics – the Spanish Flu (1918), the Asian Flu (1957), and the Hong Kong Flu (1968). The government further estimated 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. When the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 occurred, CDC estimated there were between 151,000 and 575,400 deaths worldwide in the first year. Since then, advances in science and preparedness have been implemented to prevent outbreaks from reaching pandemic proportions. Great strides have been made in monitoring and detection, risk assessment, prevention and treatment. These advances are outlined in the Department of Health and Human Services Pandemic Influenza Plan. This plan, an update of the 2005 National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan, 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 plan, '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 pandemic virus. In fact, there could be a point when it is too late. This course is designed to increase awareness of pandemic threats and to provide information that can be used to form the basis of preparedness and prevention for your organization.
This course was developed and reviewed with subject matter support provided by certified subject matter experts and industry professionals. Please note, the course materials and content were current with the laws and regulations at the time of the last expert review, however, they may not reflect the most current legal developments. Nothing herein, or in the course materials, shall be construed as professional advice as to any particular situation with respect to compliance with legal statutes or requirements.