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Infection Control

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The 2009-H1N1or swine flu was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2009 (CDC, 2010). This influenza A (H1N1) virus was the most major cause of human flu in 2009. As Patel, Panchal, Chavda, Modiya, Marvaniya, Modi, and Sen (2010) note, some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and they result in a small percent of all flu-like illness and a small percent of all seasonal flu. Other strains are endemic in pigs and birds. This paper will discuss effective pandemic planning for the management of an outbreak of H1N1 virus on a cruise ship with 1970 passengers and 734 crew on board. Infection Prevention and Control The UK’s National Infection Prevention and Control Framework describes extensive measures to combat the outbreak of future infectious diseases. This framework strongly recommends the active involvement of individuals, communities, healthcare authorities, national and local governments, and other care givers to address effective infection prevention and control so as to minimize the risk of infectious diseases that can endanger lives (NHS Professionals Infection Control Policy, 2010). There is a wide range of national policy guidelines such as The Health and Social Care Act (2008), Essential Steps to safe, clean care (2007), National Patient Safety Agency Revised Cleaning Manual (2009), and Winning Ways- Working together to reduce HCAI in England (2003) now available for the prevention of healthcare associated infection and communicable diseases (As cited in NHS South East Essex and NHS South West Essex, NHS,Infection Prevention amp. Control Team, 2011). These national policy guidelines suggest that the effective prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) should be practiced in everyday life and applied by everyone on a continuous basis. As per the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual of Health Protection Scotland (2012), it is particularly important for communities to have awareness of the possibilities concerning an outbreak of pandemic diseases. This awareness is very vital to prevent the situations leading to diseases like swine flu and to treat the disease conditions effectively (NDMA, 2009). The framework specifically indicates that thoughtful staff engagement is paramount in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The prevention and control practices have to be initiated from the bottom line (local communities or regions) and spread to the national level. According to the NHS Infection Prevention and Control Policy (n. d.), Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Infection Prevention and Control Teams, general practitioners, nursing staff, domestic staff, all other staff groups, and all key healthcare institutions in the country are involved in the prevention of HCAI. Pandemic Planning Requirements The given case scenario is about the management of an outbreak of H1N1 virus on a cruise ship. A cruise ship is likely to carry passengers from different territories, sometimes from different countries. In addition, people cannot always stay away from the affected people while they are in a ship. Hence, the likelihood of spreading the disease will be high. In this situation, high awareness of the H1N1 flu is necessary to prevent the spread of this disease effectively. Hence, the medical team in the ship must inform the passengers and crew about the potential causes that would lead to spread of this infectious virus. The