What is the risk of pandemics to Warwickshire?

Pandemics have been caused by both viruses and bacteria. They are natural events that happen when a unique novel pathogen begins to spread that few people (if any) are immune to. Since people aren’t immune, it will cause more serious illness in a large proportion of the population.

Each pandemic is different, and its impacts/nature cannot be known in advance. It could affect all ages, all populations, but we won’t know who will be most at risk until it happens.

Pandemics are the most serious emergency that you should know about. This is because of the large number of people who could become seriously ill or die, and because the emergency could last for several months.

Seasonal illnesses, such as flu, normally affect people in the UK between October and May, but a pandemic can come at any time. It could start anywhere in the world but travel quickly.

Pandemics can occur in more than one wave, possibly months apart. Each wave is likely to last several months.

How could pandemics
affect you and your community?

All age groups can be affected by a pandemic, but diseases can affect different age groups in different ways. We cannot know which age group will be worst affected until a pandemic happens. For most people, however, they will be back to normal after 7-10 days.

It can take up to six months to prepare a vaccine after a
new flu virus is identified and isolated. Key impacts include:

  • Risk to life
  • Impacts on all aspects of society
  • Health impacts on the elderly and vulnerable
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on businesses
  • Significant strain on responding organisations

A “pandemic” also has other consequences such as lockdowns, social distancing, increase in working and schooling from home, and taking preventative measures (such as wearing face masks) to protect yourself and others.

We can all be better prepared to
respond and recover from pandemics

Follow these practical steps so you and your family can be better prepared for recovery from a pandemic flu.


Keep healthy

A healthy lifestyle can be a great defense against flu and other illnesses.


Identify a friend who can help

Somebody who would collect your medication, food, and other supplies if needed (allowing you to self-isolate).

Create an emergency medicine supply

Keep personal stocks of “over-the-counter” cold and flu medication to help relieve your symptoms.


Get vaccinated

The annual flu vaccine can help reduce the risk of flu. It is free for those most at risk. Speak to a pharmacist or a GP about the flu and COVID vaccinations.


Look out for and follow advice and guidance from the NHS

Be hygienic. Wash your hands properly with soap and hot
water at regular intervals. Good hand hygiene reduces the spread of bacteria and

How to prepare
your business

Warwickshire LRF

What is being done to become
better prepared?

We work together to:

  • Manage the demand on the NHS and social care.
  • Distribute anti-viral medication to the public.
  • Provide vaccinations.
  • Oversee public awareness and media management.
  • Manage excessive levels of death.

Individual LRF organisations have their own business continuity plans in place to cope in times of staff shortage.

UK Health Security Agency - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


For more information on your local health services or call 111 - the free NHS helpline which directs you to the right local health service.


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