Outbreaks of influenza have been known to occur for centuries. Three influenza pandemics – the Spanish (1918), Asian (1957), and Hong Kong (1968) - occurred in the previous century, killing more than 50 million people worldwide. Historical patterns suggest that influenza pandemics occur, on average, three to four times each century when a new virus subtype emerges that is readily transmitted from person to person.
Experts predict that another influenza pandemic will occur soon, although the timing and pattern of the outbreak is not known. When a pandemic does occur, the impact could be devastating. Some estimates suggest up to 8 million people in Ontario will be infected.
Planning is underway at all levels of government and throughout the health sector to both mitigate the impact of a pandemic influenza and minimize serious illness and overall deaths. Below are some resources that help guide hospitals in the development of their pandemic plans:
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA:
Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan (CPIP)
Pandemic Influenza Resource Page
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO:
Ontario Health Pandemic Influenza Plan (OHPIP)
Emergency Management Unit
World Health Organization (WHO)
For further information regarding Pandemic planning, please contact Rachel Bredin, Assistant Consultant, Health & Safety, at 416-205-1576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.