Diseases in the news

Information about pandemics and epidemics, including influenza, measles and ebola.

Pandemic resources

Links and resources you'll need to begin your pandemic planning efforts

Epidemic or pandemic?
An epidemic affects an atypically larger than usual number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. A pandemic occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
Pandemic Planning and Resources - Ministry of Health
Framework for action that can readily be adopted and applied to any pandemic, irrespective of the nature of the virus and its severity.
NZ Influenza Pandemic Action Plan - Ministry of Civil Defence
Community Pandemic Planning Guide for Community Civil Defence and Emergency Management groups. It is designed to help communities to plan to be able to meet their own needs during a pandemic.


The flu is often confused with the common cold, but is a more severe disease. Epidemics of influenza have been recorded several times over the past centuries, most devastatingly in 1918.

Search the libraries’ Health Source and Health and Wellness Resource Center for articles on Influenza. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.



The measles virus is a highly contagious disease that affects children in particular, although adults are also susceptible. Vaccination can prevent the spread of measles, however New Zealand has frequent outbreaks of this disease.

  • Measles From the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Includes symptoms, treatment and prevention. A video summarising the information is also available.
  • Measles Topic overview from the World Health Organisation. Includes fact sheet and data about the disease.


Ebola is currently much in the news, as a result of an ongoing outbreak in Western Africa. The likelihood of ebola spreading to New Zealand is very low.

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