Influenza Pandemic: Sustaining Focus on the Nation’s Planning and Preparedness Efforts

Source: Government Accountability Office, GAO-09-334, February 26, 2009

GAO has conducted a body of work over the past several years to help the nation better prepare for, respond to, and recover from a possible influenza pandemic, which could result from a novel strain of influenza virus for which there is little resistance and which therefore is highly transmissible among humans. GAO’s work has pointed out that while the previous administration had taken a number of actions to plan for a pandemic, including developing a national strategy and implementation plan, much more needs to be done. However, national priorities are shifting as a pandemic has yet to occur, and other national issues have become more immediate and pressing. Nevertheless, an influenza pandemic remains a real threat to our nation and the world.

For this report, GAO synthesized the results of 11 reports and two testimonies issued over the past 3 years using six key thematic areas: (1) leadership, authority, and coordination; (2) detecting threats and managing risks; (3) planning, training, and exercising; (4) capacity to respond and recover; (5) information sharing and communication; and (6) performance and accountability. GAO also updated the status of recommendations in these reports.

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