An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza A virus. Pandemics happen when new (novel) viruses emerge which infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. Several resources have been developed to assist with planning for an influenza pandemic. The CDC released interim updated planning guidance on allocating and targeting pandemic influenza vaccine during an influenza pandemic. Developed in 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pandemic Influenza Plan aims to highlight and build upon the successes of the last decade and describe efforts that are needed to improve pandemic preparedness.
1918 Influenza Pandemic 100 Year Commemoration - The 1918 influenza pandemic devastated entire communities and took an estimated 675,000 American lives. It was the most severe influenza pandemic in recent history. The CDC developed a web page to highlight this event and share strategies to address remaining gaps, increase pandemic preparedness, and minimize the effects of future influenza pandemics.
Preparing Child Care Programs for Pandemic Influenza - Partnering with early education and child care programs or schools to encourage proper influenza prevention and control strategies for all children, staff and caregivers is hugely beneficial. Children in child care centers represent an important population to consider in attempts to mitigate the spread of an influenza pandemic. The AAP conducted a national survey in 2008 and 2016 that assessed directors' reports of their child care centers' pandemic influenza preparation.
Two articles have been developed to highlight the results:
AAP Resources Created During the 2009-2010 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic - The AAP developed the following resources in response to the H1N1 pandemic that may be relevant to future planning for pandemics:
Algorithm to Guide Clinical Decision Making – Helps physicians (and those under their supervision) determine whether children with symptoms of influenza-like illness should be evaluated for treatment, receive a medical evaluation or be monitored for potential follow-up.
Flu: A Guide for Parents of Children or Adolescents With Chronic Health Conditions – This resource for parents discusses flu symptoms, complications, vaccinations and when a child should return to school after being sick.
Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus and Children With Underlying Medical Conditions – The AAP identified an expert work group to review data on children at highest risk of experiencing fatal outcomes from novel influenza A (H1N1) virus and provide information to assist clinical providers in the prevention, management and treatment of H1N1 influenza of these children.
Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit – This resource allows for pediatricians, public health leaders and other pediatric care providers to assess what is already happening in their community or state and help determine what needs to be done before an emergency or disaster. The kit will promote collaborative discussions and decision making about pediatric preparedness planning.
Additional articles and resources prepared by AAP members are available on request. For more information, contact AAP staff.