Swine flu - global threat raised

The World Health Organisation's emergency committee raised the pandemic threat level for swine flu tonight from phase three to phase four.

A pandemic is not inevitable. However, this action is intended as a signal that we should strengthen our preparations for flu.

The University's Pandemic Flu Contingency Plan includes a basic planning checklist for individuals and families.

Members of the school should also consider how they may continue to work from home should this become necessary.

If a pandemic develops, tactical decisions on restriction of gatherings or closures of buildings or venues may be made with little or no notice.


Contingency Plans for Pandemic Flu

Planning for the worst; hoping for the best

Earlier this year, I and a number of Informatics staff attended a "Pandemic Flu Desk Top Exercise" organised by the University's Health and Safety Department. This and similar meetings with other schools contributed to the development of the University's Pandemic Flu Contingency Plan, which was published last month.

The University will endeavour to continue to operate throughout a pandemic.

The current WHO phase of pandemic alert is 3 (as seen from Google's cache, dated 26 Apr 2009 11:15:19 GMT, of the WHO site which is currently unreachable). Raising it to level 4 “would be a very serious signal that countries ought to be dusting off pandemic plans,” according to Dr. Keiji Fukuda, deputy director general of the W.H.O.

The US government site for avian and pandemic flu information is accessible, as is the UK Department of Health Pandemic Flu site.