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Department of Public Safety

Pandemic influenza is a global disease outbreak. Three pandemics have occurred in 1918, 1957, and 1968 with the most deadly occurring in 1918 killing approximately 50 million people worldwide. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illness, and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide. In the event of pandemic influenza, the University will play a key role in protecting students’ and employees’ health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the academic mission and the business infrastructure. The University’s strategies that delay or reduce the impact of a pandemic (also called non-pharmaceutical interventions) may help reduce the spread of disease until a vaccine is available.

I. World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Influenza Phases

The State has adopted the World Health Organization’s structure for monitoring Pandemic Influenza. The structure is divided into three distinct periods (Inter-pandemic, Pandemic Alert, and Pandemic) and 6 phases.

A.    Inter-Pandemic Period

1. Phase 1:  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.

2. Phase 2: No new influenza virus subtypes have been detected in humans. However, a circulating animal influenza virus subtype poses a substantial risk of human disease.

B.    Pandemic Alert Period

  1. Phase 3: Human infection(s) with a new subtype but no human-to-human spread, or at most rare instances of spread to a close contact.

  2. Phase 4: Small cluster(s) with limited human-to-human transmission but spread is highly localized, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans.

  3. Phase 5: 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).

B.    Pandemic Period


1.    Phase 6: Pandemic: increased and sustained transmission in general population.

II. Pandemic Severity Index
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) (Table 1) that uses hurricane categories as a model to help the public gauge the severity of a pandemic. The PSI is divided into five categories with 1 being the least severe and 5 being the most severe and is based on the total U.S. population. The CDC has also developed a mitigation strategy table (Table 2) for implementation of interventions to reduce transmission of illness in the community.

III. Planning and Preparation
All pandemic influenza action plans will be updated and reviewed by department heads and directors by April 15 and July 1 of each year, and placed on the appropriate MACU web page. All pandemic influenza supplies and equipment shall be in place and, if appropriate, tested by May 15. Pandemic action plans shall address the following:

      1. Initial preparations
      2. Business continuity plan
      3. Academic continuity plan
      4. Student Services continuity plan.
      5. Infection control plan.
      6. Communications plan.
      7. Preparation for emergency services
      8. Recovery plan
      9. Community assistance impact
      10. Personal assignments

IV. Pandemic Influenza Monitoring and Final Preparations

      1. At pandemic influenza phase 3, the MACU Police Department will monitor the U.S. Government Pandemic Influenza Information website (pandemicflu.gov) and the Office of Public Health Preparedness of the Oklahoma Department of Health and notify the President of changes in alert/threat status as dictated by regional pandemic influenza forecasts.
      2. The President may convene the Emergency Operations Group to outline preparations and develop a schedule for decisions on modifying University functions. The MACU Vice President for Strategic Communication will communicate any such decisions to University personnel and the media.
      3. At the pandemic influenza phase 5, all preparations should be finalized and completed.
      4. Business, academic, and student services continuity plans should be implemented and personnel assignments made accordingly.

V. During the Pandemic

Response actions of essential personnel concerning personnel assignments, course delivery, student support infrastructure, business activities, communications, and all other University functions will be made using Tables 1 and 2 as a guide in implementing departmental business continuity plans.
The MACU Police Department or other University designee is to monitor the implementation and enforcement of the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act.

VI.    Recovery period
Once Oklahoma Department of Health has declared pandemic influenza is no longer a threat in the local area, the recovery period begins, and the following actions will be taken.

      1. The President will convene the Emergency Operations Group and implement the recovery action plans. The group will address the impact of the pandemic on the University, develop strategies to meet the needs of the University recovery, and insure that all resources are being focused on restoring normal operations as soon as possible. Periodic briefings will be held as necessary and communicated to University personnel and the media as appropriate. Decisions will be made regarding outside assistance needed to complete the recovery process.

      2. In the event that College facilities are used for community support functions such as health care surge capacity, staging areas for supplies, equipment and personnel, special security and service arrangements outlined in the initial plan will be provided. All personnel will be assigned an identification badge and will be required to check in and out for accountability.

      3. Special issues involved in recovery operations must be addressed. Personal safety is of foremost concern.

Tables

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) (Table 1) that uses hurricane categories as a model to help the public gauge the severity of a pandemic. The PSI is divided into five categories with 1 being the least severe and 5 being the most severe and is based on the total U.S. population.

Table 1. Pandemic Severity Index

Pandemic Chart 1

The CDC has also developed a mitigation strategy (Table 2) for implementation of interventions to reduce transmission of illness in the community.

Table 2: Community Mitigation Strategy

Pandemic Chart 2