A pandemic is described as ""occurring over a vast geographic area and affecting an extraordinarily high proportion of the population"" in Merriam-online Webster's dictionary. It is an outbreak of any disease, such as typhoid or influenza, in terms of sickness (the """"flu""""). In contrast, a pandemic is the same disease on a much bigger, more global scale. An epidemic is similar, but the disease affects a huge number of people within a population, community, or region at the same time.
When did the most recent flu pandemic occur?
A new strain of the influenza virus is what causes pandemic influenzas. Humans do not yet have an immune to the virus, thus the disease is typically more severe. Additionally, there is no vaccine on hand. A new strain has historically emerged three to four times every century, or every 30 to 40 years. The most recent epidemics were ""Spanish Flu"" in 1918–1919. Asian Flu in the years 1957–1958 1968–1969: ""Hong Kong Flu"" H1N1 ""Swine Flu"" in 2009–2010 Nota: In 2020, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a non-flu virus, started to produce a pandemic outbreak. For more details, please check the OSH Answers article on the Coronavirus.
What causes a flu to spread like a pandemic?
The influenza A, B, C, and D viruses are four different subtypes. A and B strains of influenza are to blame for the seasonal illness that appears usually every winter. The sickness caused by influenza type C is typically quite mild and frequently symptomless. The influenza type D viruses that afflict cattle are not known to sicken humans. In humans, only type A influenza can produce pandemics. For a pandemic to happen, certain conditions must be met: fresh influenza There is a virus (the outcome of a significant alteration to the virus). People will have little to no immunity to a new pathogen. a virus that can quickly spread from person to person. Serious disease or death could be brought on by the infection.
What effects will a pandemic have?
The outcome or mortality rate of a novel influenza virus cannot be predicted. Between 100,000 and 400,000 people are thought to have died globally as a result of the 2009–2010 (Swine) flu. In contrast, the Spanish flu was regarded as ""extraordinary"" and was thought to have merely been an avian virus in origin, although it did inflict the highest number of known deaths (40 to 50 million) globally. In comparison to the Spanish flu, the Asian (2 million deaths) and Hong Kong (1 million deaths) flus were less severe and were brought on by a mix of human and bird viruses. In the past, influenza strains were able to spread over the world in 6 to 9 months, although these instances happened when most travel used boats. A ""modern"" epidemic is predicted to reach every country in the world in less than three months because to international air travel. A pandemic is not a """"one time"""" occurrence, and illness outbreaks may occur in two or three """"waves"""" that are spaced three to twelve months apart. A pandemic will most likely last 12 to 18 months in total.
How can I protect myself from the flu?
Washing your hands frequently is the most crucial action you can take to lower the risk of infection. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water. For further information, refer to the OSH Answers Hand Washing - Reducing the Risk of Common Infections. In Good Hygiene Practices - Reducing the Spread of Infections and Viruses, further personal hygiene actions are described. All Canadians over the age of six months are advised to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu each year by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Keeping your hands away from your face will help prevent the virus from spreading. sneezing and coughing into your arm rather than your hand. preserving the cleanliness and sanitation of communal surfaces. When you are ill, stay at home.
Should a company prepare for a pandemic of the flu?
Yes. When numerous employees will be sick or absent, workplaces should establish a strategy that enables regular business operations to continue. The ""population clinical attack rates"" (also known as the ""sickness prevalence estimates"") range from 25 to 45%, and workplace absences may be higher than this estimate due to caregiving responsibilities or concerns about personal safety. (From: Canadian Government, 2015. Canadian Preparedness for a Pandemic Influenza: Planning Advice for the Health Sector) Remember that a pandemic is not like the normal flu season or a natural disaster when making preparations for one (such as a hurricane or serious ice or snow storm). Keep in mind that a pandemic will endure far longer than a ""one-time"" occurrence, and sickness outbreaks may occur in 2 or 3 ""waves"" spaced anywhere from 3 to 12 months apart, lasting a total of 12 to 18 months.
What details ought to include in the business plan?
Although it is impossible to foresee, a company should prepare for up to one third of employees to be absent during a pandemic. Depending on how dangerous the pandemic is, some workplaces may need to close or may be required to close by a medical or public health office. Other precautions, such as physical separation, hand hygiene, travel limitations, caps on the number of individuals who can congregate in one place, usage of non-medical masks, etc., may be implemented by governments or suggested by public health professionals. Keep the following in mind when writing a business plan: As there will be more patients to care for and many more healthcare workers who may be sick or need to care for family members, there will be less healthcare resources accessible. Similar effects will be felt by other businesses (less resources, sick employees, etc.). Customers, resources, and supplies might not be readily available. Even healthy workers occasionally have to stay at home to care for loved ones. Alternately, if schools are closed, parents are forced to stay at home. For further information, please refer to the booklet Business Continuity Plan: Infectious Diseases.
Where can I find further details?
Information may alter quickly as a pandemic ""evolves."" The websites and phone numbers listed below are reliable resources for the most recent information: Call 1-800-454-8302 to reach the Public Health Agency of Canada in Canada for information about avian or pandemic influenza. Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 1-800-CDC-INFO if you're in the USA (1-800-232-4636). For further local information, you can also get in touch with your neighborhood public health office or ministry of health. For these numbers, look in your phone book's blue pages. Online Canada Government of Canada: Flu (influenza) and Influenza surveillance (FluWatch) Canadian Public Health Agency's Pandemic Preparedness page Influenza (Flu) in the United States of America - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA Disease Outbreak Reports From The World Health Organization"""