Appendix D: World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Phases and the Federal Government Response Stages
The WHO Pandemic Phases are designed to provide guidance to the international community on preparedness and response for pandemic threats and pandemic disease. Recognizing that distinctions between the two inter-pandemic phases and the three pandemic alert phases may be unclear, the WHO Secretariat proposes to base classification on assessment of risk based on a range of scientific and epidemiological data.
The phase in which a country is in will differ from country to country based on whether the nation is affected by the novel influenza subtype. National subdivisions of phases will be designated by national authorities. In the United States, pandemic phases will be defined based on the global phase and determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. During the pandemic phase, additional subdivisions may be defined based on the extent of disease. In actual practice, the distinction between the various phases of pandemic influenza may be blurred or occur in a matter of hours, again underscoring the need for flexibility.
Interconnected with the WHO phases are the Federal Government Response Stages (FGRS) which provide a framework for U.S. Federal Government planning/preparatory, response, and recovery actions. Table D-1 provides the relationship between the two.