Lessons from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Using Historical Examples to Inform the Department of Defense's Response to the Next Pandemic
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Pandemic influenza has had an impact on militaries and societies in the past, and will again, because the virus remains endemic worldwide and mutates rapidly, negating human immunity. Based on the lessons from the 1918 pandemic and the US National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza the Department of Defense should expand its implementation plan in order to enforce containment of a future pandemic and respond to humanitarian assistance needs of partner nations. The influenza pandemic of 1918 was the most rapidly lethal pandemic in history and provided lessons that should inform current policy. The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza presents clear guidance on the priorities of protecting the United States through isolation and supporting allied and partner nations in the event of the next pandemic. In order to maintain a credible readiness, DOD should seek to align the Department of Defense Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza with the broader goals of the National Strategy.
- Government and Political Science
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