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New Report Finds 10 Early Lessons Learned From the H1N1 Outbreak
Date:6/4/2009

WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH), the Center for Biosecurity, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) issued a new analysis today, Pandemic Flu: Lessons From the Frontlines, which found that the initial response to the H1N1 outbreak showed strong coordination and communication and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances from U.S. officials, but it also showed how quickly the nation's core public health capacity would be overwhelmed if an outbreak were more severe or widespread.

"H1N1 is a real-world test of our initial emergency response capabilities -- all of the planning and preparations have paid off. The country is significantly ahead of where we were a few years ago," said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH. "However, the outbreak also revealed serious gaps in our nation's preparedness for pandemic flu and other public health emergencies."

The Pandemic Flu: Lessons from the Frontlines report reviews 10 early lessons learned from the response to the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak, 10 ongoing core vulnerabilities in U.S. pandemic flu preparedness, and case studies of challenges communities around the country faced when responding to the outbreak. The 10 early lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 outbreak in the report were that:

  1. Investments in pandemic planning and stockpiling antiviral medications paid off;
  2. Public health departments did not have enough resources to carry out plans;
  3. Response plans must be adaptable and science-driven;
  4. Providing clear, straightforward information to the public was essential for allaying fears and building trust;
  5. School closings have major ramifications for students, parents and employers;
  6. Sick leave and policies for limiting mass gath
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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