Community mitigation aims to slow the spread of a novel influenza A virus in communities through the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and through travel and border health measures. In the absence of medications or vaccines, community mitigation measures are the first line of defense against highly transmissible infectious diseases. They can be used from the earliest stages of an influenza pandemic, including the initial months when the most effective countermeasure – a vaccine against the new pandemic virus – may not yet be available.
Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are readily available actions and response measures people and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like influenza. NPIs that should be practiced by all people at all times are particularly important during a pandemic. They are called “everyday preventive actions” and include staying home when sick; covering coughs and sneezes; frequent handwashing; and routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects. Community-level NPIs may be added during pandemics to help reduce social contacts between people in schools, workplaces, and other community settings (e.g., dismissing schools temporarily, providing telework options, and postponing large gatherings).
Additional NPI Resources
- NPI communications and education materials to promote the use of NPIs.
- NPI planning guidance and checklists to assist in pandemic influenza preparedness.
- Current research articles on NPIs and pandemic flu
- “NP1 101” training to help educate state, tribal, local, and territorial public health professionals in preparing for and responding to influenza pandemics through the use of NPIs. The course offers free continuing education credits.
Understanding Isolation and Quarantine
- US Department of Education Emergency Planning: Influenza Outbreakpdf iconexternal icon
- CDC’s Social Distancing Law Assessment Project
- Guidance for School Administrators to Help Reduce the Spread of Seasonal Influenza in K-12 Schools
- Supplemental Interim Guidance for School Administrators Associated with Possible Outbreaks of H3N2 Variant Influenza Virus (“H3N2v”)
- Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation (2007)