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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Pandemic, human and animal health emergencies

Pandemics such as flu and COVID-19

The type of pandemics like COVID-19 are in the Community Risk Register. Some of these disease originated in animals and have now passed to humans and are sometime called zoonotic disease. They are often notifiable diseases for animals and humans. They are listed as a high risk. 

Notifiable animal diseases

COVID-19 is caused by a Coronavirus. Influenza is caused by an influenza virus, which is not the same as a Coronavirus.

A flu pandemic happens when a new and unexpected influenza virus develops and spreads around the world. Because it’s a new type of flu, most people do not have immunity and so the virus can spread more easily.

Pandemic flu may be associated with mild to moderate illness (which may or may not be widespread), or significant severe illness and mortality in certain ages or patient groups. A flu pandemic can happen at any time and in extreme cases it may disrupt the normal functioning of the Island.

The measures we’ve put in place for COVID-19 are similar to the measures we would put in place in case of an Influenza pandemic.

Pandemic flu is not the same as seasonal flu. Every year we have a flu season that usually runs from October to May, but this can vary according to the season.

The flu jab is currently given free to Islanders aged 50 and above and groups at risk. This is assessed each year. This is usually done by looking at what types of flu have affected the Southern Hemisphere in their winter, which precedes ours.

What you need to do 

Stay as healthy as possible and follow these hygiene practices:

  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and use a tissue when possible
  • dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
  • maintain good basic hygiene. For example, wash hands regularly with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face or to other people 
  • regularly clean hard surfaces (for example, door handles), using a normal cleaning product 
  • help children to follow these advice
  • keep personal stocks of over the counter cold and flu medication, to help relieve your symptoms 
  • know the sickness and closure arrangements of your child’s school 
  • know the sickness reporting arrangement for your employer 
  • identify a flu friend who could collect your medication, food and other supplies if you become ill 
  • look out for elderly relatives or neighbours who may need extra help. Contact your Parish for more advice and assistance
  • look out for an observe advice and guidance from Public Health

For more information visit flu vaccinations.

Human health

Human health emergencies that could affect people in Jersey include:

  • influenza type disease (epidemic)
  • influenza type disease (pandemic)
  • SARS type virus 
  • infectious disease outbreaks (for example, legionella, meningitis and norovirus)
  • chemical or radiological incidents

To make sure you know how to respond and prepare for a human health emergency visit:

Animal health

You must report any suspicion of a notifiable animal diseases to the States Veterinary Officer.

Email or call +44 (0) 1534 441600.

It's very important that you inform us because these diseases may be passed between animals and people or have a significant economic impact.

If your animal is unwell but you don't suspect a notifiable disease, you should contact your vet. Some of these diseases include the Equine Herpes Viruses including EHV-1 and strangles disease.

You can learn how to respond and prepare for an animal health emergency on UK Health Protection Agency and DEFRA.

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