Pandemic Influenza

Australia’s strategy to manage an influenza pandemic is to minimise its impact on the health of Australians and our health system.

Page last updated: 05 September 2014

Preparing for pandemic influenza

This website provides important information about pandemic influenza, including what the Australian Government did in response to the pandemic (H1N1) influenza 2009 outbreak and what it will do if we face another pandemic. This site also contains information on what individuals, communities and health care professionals can do to prepare for and respond to a flu pandemic.

Even though Australia is well equipped, governments alone cannot respond effectively to a flu pandemic. It is important that we are all prepared for the possibility of a pandemic and ready to respond to the threat to help slow the spread of infection and lessen the impact.

Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza

Australia’s response to pandemic influenza is guided by a nationally agreed health sector response plan: the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI). A revised AHMPPI has been developed taking into account the recommendations of the Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and developments in the approach to pandemic response within the international community.

The review of the response to the H1N1 Pandemic in 2009 recommended a substantial change to the approach of the AHMPPI. Some of the key aspects of the new approach include:

  • wherever possible, use of existing systems and governance mechanisms, particularly those for seasonal influenza as the basis of the response;
  • application of a flexible approach, which can be scaled and varied to meet the needs experienced at the time;
  • evidence-based decision making;
  • strong linkages with emergency response arrangements;
  • an emphasis on communications activities as a key tool in management of the response;
  • provision of detailed guidance on the collection of national surveillance data; and
  • the potential to apply the plan to seasonal influenza, if it threatens to overwhelm health systems.

The AHMPPI was endorsed by the then Standing Council on Health on 11 April 2014. A full version of the AHMPPI is available to download.