Pandemic Flu and Infectious Disease Prevention
Scientists around the globe continue to warn the public about the risk of a potential pandemic influenza outbreak, which typically strikes three to four times a century. Pandemic flu is caused by a strain of flu virus that is capable of producing severe disease and spreading rapidly person-to-person worldwide. Unlike the seasonal flu, a pandemic flu virus poses a novel threat. Since humans have no previously developed immunity against pandemic flu, this virus strain puts most people at high risk of infection. This could result in a large percentage of the world's population being infected by a rapidly spreading virus in a very short period of time. Though considerable progress has been made in the last few years, much more must be done to prepare for a pandemic.
Experts predict a severe pandemic flu outbreak could result in up to 1.9 million deaths in the United States, approximately 9.9 million Americans needing to be hospitalized, and an economic recession with losses of over $680 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
TFAH has outlined recommendations for policymakers on ways to better prepare the country for a possible pandemic outbreak. TFAH issued a series of reports and created the Working Group on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness with more than 40 other organizations. We also created a series of brochures for families, medical providers, businesses, and community leaders who want to learn more about how to prepare for a possible pandemic.
Past Low Flu Vaccination Rates and Gaps in Flu Policies Contribute to Vaccine Shortages and Other Problems in Preparedness
Fewer than Half of Americans Vaccinated for Flu Last Season
Ready or Not?
Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism
November 13, 2013
Public Health Advocates Rally Again to Protect Prevention Fund
November 12, 2013
Statement by Senator Tom Harkin on Landmark Drug Safety Legislation
October 12, 2013
FUNDING PUBLIC HEALTH PIECEMEAL = NO-GO
Policy and Advocacy
For TFAH position statements and letters, congressional hearings, briefings and testimony, and additional policy and advocacy materials, on Pandemic Flu and Infectious Disease Prevention, click here.
Selected items from TFAH's Resource Library:
Business Flu Brochure
It's Not Flu As Usual - What Businesses Need to Know About Pandemic Flu Planning
Community Transformation Grants (CTGs): Promoting Proven Strategies to Fight Chronic Diseases
Community Transformation Grants, one major initiative funded under the Prevention and Public Health Fund, are targeted at addressing the leading causes of chronic diseases to improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs over the long term. The investments being made are critical to make sure people can take personal responsibility for their health care, outside of the doctor’s office, and allow individual communities to address their greatest health needs. CTGs will benefit more than one in three Americans, approximately 145 million people.
Faith Based Community Flu Brochure
It's Not Flu As Usual: What Faith-Based and Community Organizations Need to Know About Pandemic Flu
Half of Americans Could Be Obese By 2030… Or We Could Invest In The Prevention Fund
Half of Americans could be obese By 2030...or we could invest in the Prevention Fund. An analysis conducted by the National Heart Forum, based on a peer-reviewed model published last year in The Lancet, estimates that that 50 percent of Americans are on track to be obese in the next 20 years.1 Obesity could even top 60 percent in 13 states. Right now, 36 percent of Americans are obese.
HIV Prevention for Gay Men & Men Who Have Sex with Men: Development of a Comprehensive Policy Agenda
The President released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (National Strategy) in July 2010 with an aim to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care for people living with HIV and to reduce HIV-related health disparities in the United States. Although the National Strategy identified several priority populations, the document specifically cited CDC surveillance data that reported that gay and bisexual men are the only population in the U.S. where new cases of HIV are rising. In response, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research and the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), supported by funding from the M∙A∙C AIDS FUND, convened a meeting of experts on October 26, 2010, to: • Develop a comprehensive public policy agenda to more effectively prevent HIV transmission among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). • Engage HIV/AIDS and gay health advocates to re-think and improve current methods of prevention. • Provide guidance to decision-makers on how to formulate the most effective HIV prevention strategy.