Pandemic influenza is a global outbreak of a novel influenza A virus that has not circulated before. Pandemic influenza viruses can infect and spread from person to person easily, with few people having immunity against these novel viruses.

Influenza pandemics are impossible to predict and can be mild or can cause severe morbidity and mortality. Certain populations (children, adults 64 and older, pregnant people, and individuals with chronic health conditions) are at higher risk for serious complications from both seasonal and pandemic influenza. However, healthy people may also be at high risk for severe complications from pandemic influenza.

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

It is important that pediatric practices have a preparedness plan in place since an influenza pandemic can occur at any time. A preparedness plan should include what steps the practice will take to control the spread of the virus, available resources, and processes for the effective management of a pandemic influenza outbreak. Such as implementing infection control and prevention guidelines and enforcing nonpharmaceutical mitigation efforts. Practices should also educate families on changes that will occur at the practice during an influenza pandemic.

Watch the Red Book Online Pandemic Influenza Preparedness webinar for more information. 

Refer to CDC’s interim planning guidance on allocating and administering pandemic influenza vaccines.

AAP Resources

Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit
This toolkit provides resources and tools to promote collaborative discussions and decision-making among pediatric and public health leaders about pediatric preparedness planning.

AAP Project Firstline
Project Firstline provides information to help pediatric healthcare providers gain infection control knowledge and strategies.

CDC Resources

How Is Pandemic Flu Different from Seasonal Flu?
This page provides information about the differences between pandemic influenza and seasonal influenza.

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning for Child Care Centers
This is a guide to help child care centers prepare for an influenza pandemic and help decrease its impact.

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American Academy of Pediatrics