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Influenza Pandemic Alert Status

Current Alert Status Pandemic Influenza


White Yellow Red Green

What are the Alert Status Codes?

The Influenza Pandemic Alert codes define the planning escalation steps for action in the event of a pandemic.

For planning purposes the different stages of an influenza pandemic have been grouped and defined with colour codes ... Code White, Code Yellow, Code Red and Code Green.

When we know there is a pandemic we go to Code Red.

Code White
is information/advisory only, used in the planning stages of pandemic preparedness.

Code Yellow
is a standby phase, used to alert the health sector when there has been a significant development in the virus overseas, or single isolated cases in New Zealand.

Code Red
is the response phase, encompassing the 'keep it out', 'stamp it out' and 'manage it' stages.

Code Green
is to notify standdown and recovery phase.


Alert Status Changes

Changes in alert codes will be widely publicised.

Apart from alerting government agencies to action, the alert codes may provide businesses with triggers to activate their own pandemic plans.

MoH advises that the potential impacts of an influenza pandemic in New Zealand include:

  • Morbidity and mortality are unknown, but may be very high;
  • Full community mobilisation needed all government and many community agencies are likely to be involved in whole-of-society response;
  • Health services may be unable to provide direct care (the orientation of health care may be to co-ordinate and support community mobilisation); and
  • Very high staff absence rates may be likely, for some periods during the pandemic.