A graded public health response was implemented to control the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Queensland.
Public health measures to contain the outbreak included border control, enhanced surveillance, management of cases and contacts with isolation or quarantine and antivirals, school closures and public education messages.
The first confirmed case in Australia was notified on 8 May 2009, in a traveller returning to Queensland from the United States.
In Queensland, 593 laboratory-confirmed cases were notified with a date of onset between 26 April and 22 June 2009, when the Protect phase of the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza was implemented; 16 hospitalisations and no deaths were reported during this time.
The largest number of confirmed cases was reported in the 10–19-years age group (167, 28% of cases), followed by the 20–29-years age group (153, 26% of cases).
With ongoing community transmission, the focus has shifted from public health to the clinical domain, with an emphasis on protecting vulnerable groups.
Considerable resources have been invested to prevent and control the spread of disease in Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland.
The capacity of clinical services to cope with increased admissions, the potential for widespread antiviral resistance, and rollout of mass vaccination campaigns remain future challenges.
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