Non-pharmaceutical interventions for pandemic influenza, national and community measures

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Jan;12(1):88-94. doi: 10.3201/eid1201.051371.


The World Health Organization's recommended pandemic influenza interventions, based on limited data, vary by transmission pattern, pandemic phase, and illness severity and extent. In the pandemic alert period, recommendations include isolation of patients and quarantine of contacts, accompanied by antiviral therapy. During the pandemic period, the focus shifts to delaying spread and reducing effects through population-based measures. Ill persons should remain home when they first become symptomatic, but forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical. If the pandemic is severe, social distancing measures such as school closures should be considered. Nonessential domestic travel to affected areas should be deferred. Hand and respiratory hygiene should be routine; mask use should be based on setting and risk, and contaminated household surfaces should be disinfected. Additional research and field assessments during pandemics are essential to update recommendations. Legal authority and procedures for implementing interventions should be understood in advance and should respect cultural differences and human rights.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Community Medicine / methods*
  • Crowding
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Disinfection
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / transmission
  • Masks / statistics & numerical data
  • Quarantine / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Schools
  • Travel
  • United States / epidemiology