CDC Updates the National Framework for Influenza Pandemics
October 2, 2014 04:16 PM
Using recent data and experiences from the nation’s influenza response, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its framework to describe influenza pandemic progression using six intervals - two prepandemic and four pandemic intervals - and eight domains. This updated framework can be used for influenza pandemic planning and serves as recommendations for risk assessment, decision-making, and action in the United States.
The updated framework replaces the U.S. federal government stages from the 2006 implementation plan for the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza (US Homeland Security Council. National strategy for pandemic influenza: implementation plan.)
The six intervals of the updated framework are as follows: 1) investigation of cases of novel influenza, 2) recognition of increased potential for ongoing transmission, 3) initiation of a pandemic wave, 4) acceleration of a pandemic wave, 5) deceleration of a pandemic wave, and 6) preparation for future pandemic waves. Eight domains are used to organize response efforts within each interval: incident management, surveillance and epidemiology, laboratory, community mitigation, medical care and countermeasures, vaccine, risk communications, and state/local coordination.
Progression through the intervals is not exclusively linear. For example, identification of a novel influenza A virus does not necessitate progression to the next interval (the recognition interval) if the virus does not demonstrate the potential for ongoing transmission. Similarly, after the preparation interval, subsequent waves of outbreaks will prompt federal, state, and local public health officials to reenter the acceleration, deceleration, and preparation intervals. The duration of each pandemic interval might vary from weeks to months depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
Compared with the previous U.S. government stages, this updated framework provides greater detail and clarity regarding the potential timing of key decisions and actions aimed at slowing the spread and mitigating the impact of an emerging pandemic. Use of this updated framework is anticipated to improve pandemic preparedness and response in the United States. Activities and decisions during a response are event-specific. These intervals serve as a reference for public health decision-making by federal, state, and local health authorities in the United States during an influenza pandemic and are not meant to be prescriptive or comprehensive. This framework incorporates information from newly developed tools for pandemic planning and response, including the Influenza Risk Assessment Tool and the Pandemic Severity Assessment Framework, and has been aligned with the pandemic phases restructured in 2013 by the World Health Organization.
To view the updated framework click here.