Influenza pandemics are a natural phenomenon that have occurred from time to time for centuries. They present a real and daunting challenge to the economic and social well being of any country, as well as a serious risk to the health of its population.

Northern Ireland HSC influenza pandemic - preparedness and response guidance

Operational guidance on the Northern Ireland implementation of the UK 'Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy' has been published.

The guidance for health and social care workers is intended to support local preparedness and response planning in Northern Ireland.

The key lessons learned from the 2009 pandemic are to:

  • develop improved plans for the initial response to a new pandemic
  • ensure a response that is proportionate to a range of scenarios
  • allow for differences in the rate and pattern of spread of the disease
  • develop improved plans for managing the end of an influenza pandemic

The guidance should be read together with the 'UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011'.

Current information relating to pandemic influenza can be viewed on nidirect.

Exercise Cygnus

Exercise Cygnus was a cross-Government simulation exercise in 2016 that was carried out to test the UK’s response to a serious influenza pandemic as part of a more general pandemic preparedness. 

The report of this exercise, ‘Exercise Cygnus report: Tier One Command Post Exercise Pandemic Influenza 18 to 20 October 2016,’ has been published. For more information visit:


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