How to prepare for pandemics?
Every few decades, potentially deadly pathogens and viruses spread throughout the world, and particularly, these influenza pandemics are quite a threat that nations need to prepare for. The World Health Organization offers information and course series that cover aspects of preparedness, like public health measures, risk communication, and surveillance during a pandemic.
Here are some effective ways to be prepared for a pandemic:
- Healthcare plans like scaling up hospital capacities by postponing non-essential surgeries, mobilizing or redeploying recently retired, military and student staff, preparing temporary hospitals, etc.
- Since testing is very important, plans to access additional lab capacity and authorities to consider stockpile chemicals and equipment lab use
- Researchers to best analyze the information available and collaborate across disciplines to understand an emerging disease at the earliest
- Storing up medicines and supplies and start working on finding new vaccine candidates
- Public health guidelines and strategies to protect the country
- Watching for disease outbreaks of different viruses and being prepared to quickly respond to them
- Multiple government agencies can work together and use technology to communicate with each other
- Grocery supply chains and supermarkets can plan for how they can respond quickly to increasing demands
- Finding ways to help communities provide essential services like public safety and health during a pandemic
- Urging the public to take preventative measures like practicing good hygiene like hand washing, self-isolating, avoiding large gatherings and take caution with pet animals
- Finally, having a framework that enables things like building temporary hospitals, relevant scientific advice and effective communication with the public
More importantly, to be prepared for the unpredictable!
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