CDC Issues Pandemic Flu Preparedness Guidelines

ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) introduced two new initiatives to advance the nation’s pandemic influenza preparedness efforts.

The initiatives include: new PSAs designed to encourage people to learn more about pandemic flu and new CDC mitigation guidelines for implementing public health measures and actions in response to a pandemic (i.e. non-pharmaceutical actions such as dismissing students from school, voluntary isolate of ill people, and social distancing measures like teleworking).

According to the CDC, with the best protection against pandemic influenza-a vaccine that is well-matched to the virus-causing illness-not likely to be available at the outset of a pandemic, community strategies that do not involve vaccines or medications (also called non-pharmaceutical interventions) may serve as a first line of defense to help delay or mitigate the spread of influenza.

The mitigation guidelines include social distancing strategies to reduce contact between people:

  • Closing schools
  • Canceling public gatherings
  • Planning for liberal work leave policies
  • Teleworking strategies
  • Voluntary isolation of cases
  • Voluntary quarantine of household contacts

    The guidance was developed through a collaborative process that included public health officials, mathematical modelers, researchers, and stakeholders from government, academia, private industry, education, and civic and faith-based organizations.  It will be refined as needed based on further knowledge gained from research, exercises, and practical experience.

    The full document, Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States – Early Targeted Layered use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, is available at www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/community/community_mitigation.pdf.

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