The CDC guidance, released on Feb. 1, 2007, was developed in collaboration with other federal agencies and public health and private partners. The federal government has undertaken many efforts in the last few years to encourage and strengthen the nation's pandemic influenza preparedness, and this guidance builds upon previously released planning documents and guidelines.
On the basis of the projected severity of the pandemic, government and health officials may recommend different actions communities can take in order to try to limit the spread of disease. These actions, which are designed primarily to reduce contact between people, may include
1 asking people with the flu to remain at home or not go to work until they are no longer contagious (seven to 10 days), and treating them with antiviral medication if drugs are available and effective against the pandemic strain
2 asking others in a household of people with the flu to stay at home for seven days
3 dismissing students from schools and closing child care programs for up to three months for the most severe pandemics, and reducing contact among children and teens in the community
4 recommending social distancing of adults in the community and at work, which may include closing large public gatherings, changing workplace environments, and shifting work schedules without disrupting essential services.
While these actions could significantly reduce the number of persons who become ill during a flu pandemic, they each carry potentially adverse consequences that community planners should anticipate and address in their planning efforts. The guidance describes many of these consequences, and provides planners with initial recommendations on strategies to address them.
These recommendations may be revised in the coming months based on feedback that the government will seek from a variety of specific communities, including the private sector, education community, faith- and community-based organizations, and the public health community.