Crisis management and measures

Developed against the background of the spread of bird flu in 2004, the government's 'Influenza pandemic' plan constitutes the government's framework document on preparing for and managing a flu pandemic. 

If bird flu is detected in an animal in Luxembourg, the intervention plan will be immediately implemented on a political, strategic and operational basis. The measures contained within this plan aim on the one hand to eradicate the virus by the sanitary slaughter of poultry and other captive birds, and on the other hand by cleaning and disinfecting contaminated infrastructure. 

The plan catalogues measures to be applied before, during and after a flu pandemic, in particular in the event of bird flu. 

In accordance with the six phases set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for an influenza pandemic, the measures included pertain to the entirety of how society is organised and functions on a health, social and socio-economic basis, as well as in relation to transport, civil security, international relations and official communication. 

The interpandemic period 


No sign of infection among humans as a result of a virus in animals. 

  • Measure: increase preparation for an influenza pandemic on a global, regional, national and local level. 


A flu virus affecting pets or wild animals has caused infections in humans and there is now believed to be a potential threat of a pandemic. 

  • Measure: reduce the risk of transmission to humans as far as possible; rapidly detect and report any such transmission if it occurs. 

The pandemic alert period 


A reassortant animal or animal-human flu virus has been the cause of isolated cases or small clusters of cases of this illness in the population, but has proven unable to spread easily enough from human to human to sustain outbreaks on a local level. 

  • Measure: ensure that this new sub-type of the virus is quickly characterised and that new cases are quickly screened, the authorities are informed of them and measures taken. 


Human-to-human transmission of a reassortant animal or animal-human flu virus which could lead to outbreaks on a local scale has been verified. 

  • Measure: contain the new virus to limited outbreaks or delay its spread in order to gain enough time to implement preparatory measures, in particular preparing a vaccine. 


The identified virus has caused large-scale outbreaks on a local level in at least two countries in the same WHO Region. 

  • Measure: attempt to hold back or delay the spread of the virus to try to prevent a pandemic and gain time in which to implement measures to counter the pandemic. 

Pandemic period 


In addition to the criteria identified for phase 5, the same virus has caused large-scale outbreaks on a local level in at least one country in another WHO Region. 

  • Measure: reduce the effects of the pandemic as far as possible. 

Post-pandemic period 


Return to the interpandemic period.


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