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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Four Practical Ways to Improve Your Pandemic Plan

Written by  REGINA PHELPS, RN, CEM, BSN, MPA September 30, 2009

Unlike an earthquake or tornado, pandemics can last for months, even years. While the long-term nature is not preferable, it does give us one major advantage – the ability to adjust our response as we go along, not just clean up and prepare for the next disaster. On June 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel H1N1 virus outbreak the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century. Many experts who had been following the H5N1 virus for years expected the next pandemic to be of avian origin and to start in Asia, so the emergence of “swine flu” in our own backyard came as quite a surprise to many in the emergency management community. As of Sept. 20, 2009, there have been more than 300,000 laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 – including 3,917 deaths – in 191 countries and territories reported to WHO. The WHO announced in

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