The UK Government’s guidance on an influenza pandemic
“Influenza pandemics are a natural phenomenon that have occurred from timeto time for centuries – including 3 times during the 20th century. They present a real and daunting challenge to the economic and social wellbeing of any country, as wellas a serious risk to the health of its population”.
it goes on
“There are important differences between ‘ordinary’ seasonal flu and pandemic flu.These differences explain why we regard pandemic flu as such a serious threat”.“Pandemic influenza is one of the most severe natural challenges likely to affect the UK,but sensible and proportionate preparation and collective action by the government,essential services, businesses, the media, other public, private and voluntaryorganisations and communities can help to mitigate its effects”
“Experts therefore agree that there is a high probability of a pandemic occurring, although the timing and impact are impossible to predict. The H1N1(2009) pandemic does not lessen the probability of a further pandemic in the near future, and should not be seen as representative of future pandemics”.
“As such, it is impossible to forecast the precise characteristics, spread and impact of a new influenza virus strain, however, based on historical information and scientific evidence we are able to predict the possible impacts: Many millions of people around the world will become infected, up to around 50% become ill with symptoms and a variable proportion die from the disease itself or from complications such as pneumonia. In the UK, up to one half of the population may become infected and between 20,000 and 750,000additional deaths (that is deaths that would not have happened over the same period of time had a pandemic not taken place) may have occurred by the end of a pandemic in the UK”
🔗 Source: 🇬🇧 UK Government Guidance on Pandemic Flu
Pandemic Influenza is single most disruptive event facing the UK today
“Pandemic influenza is recognised by the Government as the single most disruptive event facing the UK today. As such this remains at the top of the UK Government National Risk Register. The 2009/10 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic has not altered the likelihood of a future pandemic. Additionally the general mild nature of the 2009/10 pandemic must not be taken as an indicator of the potential severity of future such events”.
“The 20th century pandemics ranged in severity from something resembling a severe outbreak of seasonal influenza to a major event where millions of people became ill and died. They also varied with respect to number of waves of disease, age groups affected and symptoms caused. Planning at the start of the 21st century was based on these events, however the 2009 pandemic did not manifest as anticipated, thus illustrating the uncertainty underpinning the science behind pandemic preparedness.”
“Influenza pandemic planning in the UK has been based on an assessment of the ‘reasonable worst case’ derived from experience and a mathematical analysis of seasonal influenza and previous pandemics. This suggests that up to 50% of the population could experience symptoms of pandemic influenza during one or more pandemic waves lasting 15 weeks, although the nature and severity of the symptoms would vary from person toperson. Analysis of previous influenza pandemics suggests that we should plan for up to 2.5% of those with symptoms dying as a result of influenza, assuming no effective treatment was available.”
🔗 Source: 🇬🇧 NHS England Operating Framework for Managing the Response to Pandemic Influenza
Despite the document being created in 2013 it has not been updated check 08/2021