Faith-based and Community Organizations: Essential Partners in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
Keywords:Pandemic influenza, community-based organization, faith-based organization
An influenza pandemic occurs when a new strain of influenza virus-one against which humans have little or no natural immunity-emerges with the ability to cause illness in humans and efficiently pass from person to person. A severe pandemic could change daily life by, for example, limiting travel and public gatherings, disrupting businesses, and requiring children to be dismissed from schools. Most significantly, such an event could cause increased sickness and death. Currently, there is no human influenza pandemic in the United States or overseas. However, it is not possible to know in advance how severe the next pandemic will be. If our country prepares now, we will be able to better withstand the impact of a pandemic and to help limit the spread of illness. Faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) will be essential partners in protecting the public's health and safety when an influenza pandemic occurs. This article provides information for religious organizations including mosques, faith-based social service providers, social service agencies, and community organizations in preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic.
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