Pandemic Influenza Action Plan
An influenza (flu) pandemic occurs when a new and highly contagious strain of
the virus emerges, potentially affecting populations worldwide. Historically,
pandemics have occurred every 11 to 39 years; it has been more than 30 years
since the last one. Many experts believe a flu pandemic is inevitable, but no
one can know when it may occur.
In the event of a pandemic, preventive and therapeutic measures such as
vaccines and antiviral agents, and antibiotics for treating secondary
infections, could be in short supply. Medical facilities could be overburdened.
A higher risk of exposure and illness of first responders might affect care of
victims. Communications could be overwhelmed.
Partnering with other states and guided by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Florida has developed a pandemic preparedness plan that addresses
disease surveillance, emergency management, vaccine delivery, laboratory and
communications activities and multi-agency response.
How is Florida Preparing for Avian Flu?
Florida has a very strong and robust surveillance system in place that is on
alert to the potential for bird flu. "Sentinel physicians" report any unusual
occurrences to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the CDC. DOH
laboratory facilities and staff have been increased, allowing for more timely
diagnosis of avian flu should a case occur. FDOH also provides continuing
education to EMS, hospital staff and private physicians, emphasizing the
need to be alert for possible symptoms of bird flu coupled with overseas travel.
Full-time CDC personnel are assigned to the FDOH Headquarters to ensure rapid
and clear communications between organizations. The CDC has also increased
its personnel at the Miami Quarantine Station to provide services to the
international ports of entry in Florida. The Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provide
bird surveillance services, and FDOH works closely with state and federal
agricultural authorities who are responsible for the monitoring of and response
to avian influenza outbreaks in domestic poultry.
Due to our extensive response to and recovery from hurricanes, and our rigorous
overall training schedules for all natural and manmade event, we are
experienced in receiving supplies from the Federal Strategic National
Stockpile (SNS) under emergency situations. While there is currently no
vaccine for bird flu, our ability to provide mass inoculations to our
population during a crisis has been successfully tested.
ABC Movie Points For Discussion
Pandemic Readiness and Emergency Planning Summit