The Black Death plague in the 14th century killed between 11% and 17% of the global population over the course of a decade. In the most devastating pandemic of the last 100 years, the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak, 50-100 million people lost their lives—between 2.5 and 5% of the global population.
Both of these pandemics occurred before the age of modern medicine, so it is unlikely these diseases would have similar impact today (although our more connected society may increase the spread of pandemics). Today, the H5N1 avian influenza is thought to be the greatest pandemic threat.1 The Zika virus has also spread to 70 countries, with over 2,517 reported cases in the U.S.2 And every year seasonal flu viruses threatens people and organizations throughout the world.
In fact, the U.S. Health Department estimates the seasonal flu is responsible for more than 111 million sick days each year, totaling more than $7 billion in lost productivity. One can only imagine the economic and emotional impact of a widespread, severe viral outbreak.
To help managers think through the many considerations of a widespread health crisis, One Call Now has created a free downloadable article. In it you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pandemic preparation and response.