Pandemic Planning Takes Centre Stage

Written by admin, April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016 – 200+ Community Members Test Their Organizations’ Response to Mock Influenza Pandemic Emergency

More than 230 representatives from organizations across the City and County of Peterborough and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations came together today to practice how they would protect the community the next time there is an influenza pandemic.

“Today’s exercise was a great success and allowed many sectors of our community to work together to improve their pandemic plans,” said Edwina Dusome, Manager of Infectious Disease Programs at Peterborough Public Health and Chair of the Interagency Pandemic Preparedness Committee.  “Now participants can take everything they’ve learned so we can address gaps in the community’s emergency response in order to minimize the impact the next time we experience a pandemic virus.”

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, kicked off the session with an overview of what public health agencies learned the last time there was a pandemic when the novel H1N1 influenza virus started spreading globally in 2009.  “In Canada, there was considerable variation in the timing and intensity of pandemic waves, especially the first wave, across the country.  Greater impact was seen in pregnant women and Aboriginal Peoples, and persons with morbid obesity were newly recognized as being at high risk for complications,” she said.

Dr. Salvaterra also noted during H1N1 that there were logistical and communication challenges regarding the delivery of vaccine and changing recommendations about priority groups.  On the positive side, previous planning efforts similar to today’s exercise and relationship-building led to unprecedented collaboration among healthcare providers and community organizations.

“The Peterborough area was heralded for its strong partnerships that allowed for the H1N1 vaccine to get into as many arms as possible through community and school-based clinics,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “This is why today’s exercise is so important, so we can stay nimble and foster interagency relationships so our response is equally as effective when – not if – the next pandemic hits.”

To find out more about pandemic planning, and what organizations and individuals can do to prepare, please visit and click on “My Home & Environment” and then under “My Community” click on the link for “Pandemic Planning”.



For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391