The pandemic influenza and Novel Viral Respiratory Plan disease threat has the potential to rapidly cause illness in a very large number of people, which could easily overwhelm health systems. A pandemic outbreak could jeopardize essential community services by causing high levels of absenteeism in critical positions in every workforce. Basic services, such as public health, healthcare, law enforcement, fire, emergency response, communications, transportation, and utilities could be disrupted during an influenza pandemic. The pandemic, unlike many other emergency events, could last for several weeks or months with possible waves of illness. This disease threat could occur simultaneously across the United States presenting significant resource challenges including personnel, supplies, and equipment. 

The Louisiana Office of Public Health Emergency Operations Plan is an all-hazards plan upon which hazard specific plans, including this Pandemic Influenza and Novel Viral Respiratory Plan Plan are based. There are several characteristics of an influenza pandemic that differentiate it from other public health emergencies, which this plan will address. The scope of this OPH Pandemic Influenza and Novel Viral Respiratory Plan Plan is to provide the range of public health interventions which are available for response within the framework of the public health capabilities of Biosurveillance, Community Resilience, Countermeasures and Mitigation, Incident Management, Information Management and Surge Management.