A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in a very short time. resources will also be expected to continue to meet non-pandemic associated healthcare needs.
California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) State Public Health announced that CDPH has received the first report of an influenza-associated fatality in a person under the age of one year for the 2015-2016 flu season.
“As California’s public health officer, I am saddened when the flu turns into loss of life…I urge you to be vaccinated now before the flu really spreads widely to protect yourself and those around you,” said Dr. Smith.
Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. To reduce this threat, CDPH recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older, including pregnant women.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches. Children may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, Californians should also:
Stay home when sick
Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and properly dispose of the used tissue
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Dr. Smith encourages Californians to contact their health care provider, physician office, clinic or pharmacy about obtaining the flu vaccine. Some local health departments may also offer low- or no-cost flu immunizations. For more information about the flu visit the CDPH influenza web page.To find a flu vaccine location near you, visit www.flu.gov.
This checklist should be used as one of several tools for evaluating current plans or in developing a comprehensive pandemic influenza plan.
An effective plan will incorporate information from state, regional, tribal and local health departments, emergency management agencies/ authorities, hospital associations and suppliers of resources. In addition, hospitals should ensure that their pandemic influenza plans comply with applicable state and federal regulations and with standards set by accreditation organizations.
Comprehensive pandemic influenza planning can also help facilities plan for other emergency situations.
During the 2010-11 flu season, the use of surge tents to screen and triage patients required involvement by the State Fire Marshal (SFM), Local Fire Marshal, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) and California Department of Public Health (CDPHi). Regulations and policies governing the use of tents have not changed for the 2011-12 flu season.
CHA released a memo and distributed pertinent attachments outlining the 2011-2012 policies on tent use.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) has reviewed and concurs with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Updated Interim Recommendations for the Use of Antiviral Medications in the Treatment and Prevention of Influenza for the 2009-2010 Season released on December 7, 2009. These recommendations focus on the use of antiviral medications for the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza.
The United States Department of Health & Human Services developed these avian influenza and pandemic influenza communication tools using the communication science-based message mapping development process.
New Jersey Hospital Association Publication Series
Through the use of a detailed assessment and planning tools, hospitals can review existing policies and procedures, identify gaps, adopt new policies and procedures and generate a pandemic influenza plan that will facilitate a more effective response during a crisis.
These tools will assist hospitals in developing and adopting new policies that will be required to protect employees, patients and the hospital staff itself. The planning and assessment tool identifies critical elements within each module related to hospital operations during an emergency situation. In addition, the tool provides a variety of sample policies and procedures that facilities may elect to use in their planning process.
These tools were developed through a grant from Roche Pharmaceuticals. For more information about the contents of these materials, please contact NJHA’s Health Planning Department at 609-275-4020 or visit the NJHA website for more information.
The Healthcare Guide for Pandemic Flu Planning Tools are available in several modules, listed below. Please note that these policies and procedures do not reflect standard of care.