Managing pandemic influenza in general practice

A guide for preparation, response and recovery
6. Preparedness
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'Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.’ Maya Angelou

As with prevention activities, preparedness activities should be standard in general practices. However, preparedness is more about building the capacity to prevent, protect against, recognise and respond effectively to pandemic influenza (ie. to reduce the impact of the disease).

Planning and preparing are not quick processes. As with any disaster preparedness, planning and preparing needs to be done well in advance of a pandemic. In the case of pandemic influenza, being well prepared is likely to minimise the number of people affected, protect critical infrastructure and essential services, and improve the health outcomes of those affected. Lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks should be incorporated into current plans.

Plans developed for pandemic influenza can easily be used more broadly for other new, highly transmissible or severe communicable diseases.