Pandemic Consequence Planning: Assessment of Preparedness and Response

January 31, 2011

A very infectious, but relatively mild influenza pandemic of the novel H1N1 virus (the “swine flu”) began early in 2009. The first reported and confirmed case was in Mexico City, and it was made public March 18, 2009. The first cases in the United States were discovered very soon after in California. By June, when the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, a total of 74 countries and territories had reported laboratory-confirmed H1N1 infections. During the pandemic, health and governmental organizations began documenting the spread of the disease and collecting data and lessons learned from the experience. Most organizations concentrated on the health-related effects. The LMI Research Institute had a different focus: making recommendations for local, state, and federal improvements in pandemic preparedness and response, with a focus on the infrastructure, economy, and supply chain. In this report, we recommend making pandemic planning bidirectional, continuing to provide top-down guidance on response ideals and using bottom-up planning from the capacity and resource perspectives. We also identified 18 actions to improve any future pandemic response efforts.

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