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Pandemic Threats: swine flu and bird flu

IRI helps corporations evaluate conditions and contingencies associated with increasing threats of pandemic diseases including influenza.

Currently, the so-called "swine flu" or H1N1, and the evolving "avian flu" or H5N1, pose a significant threat to social well being and may have very serious business impact consequences especially during the present era of economic uncertainties.

While there have been many pandemic disease episodes over the ages, there have been three notable "influenza" events in more recent times, in 1918, 1957, and 1968. In contrast to the so-called "seasonal" flu, the pandemic sub-types in 1957 (the "Asian Flu") and 1968 (the "Hong Kong Flu") caused a significant increase in flu-related sickness and death. However, the event in 1918, known as the "Spanish Flu," was a very virulent strain of the H1N1 sub-type causing a vary high rate of sickness and a very high mortality rate.

The current H1N1 sub-type virus has many characteristics similar to those of the Spanish Flu virus. Should the current H1N1 evolve into a more severe disease, similar in scope to the Spanish Flu, there will be very material social and economic impact, worldwide. It behooves governments, municipalities, businesses, families, and individuals to plan accordingly.

There are many resources to help better understand the behaviors of pandemic diseases. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services along with the Centers for Disease Control, as well as respective state Departments of Health have made available many resources.

IRI has worked with many corporations with respect to business continuity planning. The "flu" component is a subset that necessarily needs to be addressed.


Fact Sheets:

What is an Influenza Pandemic?
What is the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic flu?
HHS Pandemic Flu Plan

Business checklist
State and local checklist
Faithbased checklist
Family Guide and checklist



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