What is a pandemic?
A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that becomes very widespread across the human population and affects a whole region, continent or the world. By nature, pandemics are unpredictable in when they will occur or how severe they will be.
An influenza pandemic is the most probable event to affect New Zealand. However, in January 2020, Chinese authorities have confirmed a new type of virus known as Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus affects the respiratory system, where symptoms are similar to other diseases such as influenza. Updates on the virus can be found here.
What is New Zealand’s response plan to a pandemic?
The Ministry of Health have developed a document titled New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan: A framework for action (NZIPAP). The action plan outlines a coordinated strategy to deal with outbreaks of infectious diseases.
The 6 core phases of the strategy are:
- Plan for it/Preparedness
- Keep it out/Border Management
- Stamp it out/Cluster Control
- Manage it/Pandemic Management
- Manage it: Post-Peak/Planning for a Resurgence
- Recover from it/Recovery
For further information on the MOH’s Pandemic Plan, click here.
What can we do to decrease the spread of infectious diseases?
Below are some steps we can follow to help contain the spread of infectious diseases and minimise the impact at home, school, or in the workplace:
- Immunise against infectious diseases
- Wash and dry your hands regularly and well
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean surfaces regularly
- Prepare food safely
The Ministry of Health website provides a range of useful resources to help with pandemic planning and preparation, which can be found here. You can also find the latest updates regarding disease outbreaks in New Zealand on their site.
Working Wise offers workplace flu vaccinations from April to June to protect staff against influenza. To make a booking click here, or give us a call on 04 499 0710 for more information.