A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease can cause serious illness and death, disrupting many areas of our lives. Alongside the physical health impacts, it can affect us socially, financially and mentally. And the consequences for public health, employment and economic development can last for many years.
Everyone plays a key role in protecting themselves and others during an outbreak. Knowing what to do can help limit the disease’s spread, save lives, and minimise the pressure on health and other public services.
A pandemic is defined as a disease outbreak that spreads throughout the world. Pandemics are caused by infectious diseases that transmit easily and quickly, causing ill health and death, as well as many wider effects on individuals, communities, organisations and societies.
The Pandemic Awareness course explains terms such as endemic, epidemic and pandemic, which describe the state of a disease outbreak. It also highlights some well known pandemics in history and the negative impact they have had. As our knowledge of infectious diseases and pandemics grow, it is important to recognise facts from myths. The course provides up-to-date information and debunks some common myths.
There are many ways that infectious diseases can spread. But this course focuses on how to prevent the spread of contagious diseases that transmit from person to person through respiratory droplets, such as Covid-19 and influenza. Diseases that have different methods of transmission are mentioned, but are not the main focus.
The course sets out what individuals can do to prevent the spread of a disease, for example, practising good respiratory hygiene, washing hands regularly, maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering.
One of the biggest lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the need to to consider mental health and wellbeing. The course provides tips to help you take care of your own and others’ mental health, and advice on how to get support if you or someone else is struggling.
The course informs employees about the organisational control measures they can expect to see in their workplaces during a pandemic, for example:
- arrangements to maintain social distancing
- face coverings or PPE requirements
- robust cleaning and disinfecting routines
- provision of more waste bins, tissues, soap, hand sanitisers and cleaning supplies
- regular communication with staff about health, safety and wellbeing concerns
There is information about how employees should respond if they develop symptoms of, or suspect they might have been exposed to, the disease while at work or at home.
This Pandemic Awareness Online Training course takes on average 35 minutes to complete.