Sunday, April 26, 2009

The swine flu threat: how prepared are we?

There is a lot of uncertainty this weekend over the significance of the pandemic threat posed by swine flu from Mexico and now reported in the US, New Zealand, France, Israel, etc. (The spread is being mapped on Google Maps.) However, the World Health Organisation is concerned.

While parts of the UK public sector have been preparing for a pandemic for some time, other organizations in the public and third sectors are less advanced – or even asleep to the threat. (When I have raised the issue of pandemic preparedness, I have always sensed that these issues are seen as a bit of a joke.)

Hopefully the spread will be contained. If not, this poses a real test of organizational risk management. In the aftermath of the First World War over 100 million died in an pandemic flu outbreak.

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