World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Alert Phases

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) established six influenza response alert phases as part of its Global Influenza Preparedness Plan. The information below shows the six phases along with the public health goals associated with each phase.

 

W.H.O. PANDEMIC ALERT PHASE CHART

PHASES

PUBLIC HEALTH GOALS

 

Interpandemic phase

Phase 1. Low Risk of Human Cases

No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. An influenza virus subtype that has caused human infection may be present in animals. If present in animals, the risk of human infection or disease is considered to be low.

Strengthen influenza pandemic preparedness at the global, regional, national and local levels.

Phase 2. Higher Risk of Human Cases

No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. However, a circulating animal influenza virus subtype poses a substantial risk of human disease.

Minimize the risk of transmission to humans; detect and report such transmission rapidly if it occurs.

 

Pandemic alert

Phase 3.   No or very limited human-to- human transmission

Human infection(s) with a new subtype, but no human-to-human spread, or at most rare instances of spread to a close contact.

Ensure rapid characterization of the new virus subtype and early detection, notification and response to additional cases.

Phase 4. Evidence of increased human-to-human  transmission Small cluster(s) with limited human-to- human transmission but spread is highly

localized, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans.

Contain the new virus within limited foci or delay spread to gain time to implement preparedness measures, including vaccine development.

Phase 5.   Evidence of significant human-to-human  transmission Larger cluster(s) but human-to-human spread still localized, suggesting that the

virus is becoming increasingly better adapted to humans, but may not yet be fully transmissible (substantial pandemic risk).

Maximize efforts to contain or delay spread, to possibly avert a pandemic, and to gain time to implement pandemic response measures.

 

Pandemic period

Phase 6.   Efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission Pandemic: increased and sustained transmission in general population.

Minimize the impact of the pandemic.

 

 

The world is presently in Phase 3: a new influenza virus subtype is causing disease in humans, but is not yet spreading efficiently and being sustainable among humans.

 

World Health Organization / Middletown School Response Alerts

The enlarged City School District of Middletown will use the WHO Pandemic Alert Phases as its basis for implementing a District Pandemic Alert Level. The district will then combine this information, along with information from the local health department regarding the types of transmission currently affecting the population and the location of outbreaks, in order to implement the correct district response level.

 

Although it may be possible to track the general course of a pandemic, there are too many variables to predict the exact nature of when and how a pandemic will strike our area. In order to ensure the latest information is factored into any district decisions, it is imperative that the district maintain communication with the local health department and be prepared to implement changes to the alert levels based on their advice and guidance.

 

DISTRICT PANDEMIC ALERT LEVEL CHART

 

Alert Phases

 

Phase Description

WHO

Alert Phases

District Pandemic Alert Level

 

Inter-pandemic phase

 

Low risk of human cases

Phase

1

Planning and Preparation

 

New virus in animals, no human cases

 

Higher risk of human cases

Phase 

2

 

 

Pandemic alert

 

 

 

New virus causes human cases

 

No or very limited human-to- human transmission

Phase 

3

 

Evidence of increased human-to- human transmission

Phase 

4

Level 

1

 

Evidence of significant human- to-human transmission

Phase 

5

Level 

2

 

Pandemic

 

Efficient and sustained human- to-human transmission

Phase 

6

Level

3