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Keywords:

  • avian influenza;
  • pandemic;
  • preparedness;
  • public health nursing

This paper provides an overview of the Hong Kong government's influenza preparedness plan and the key roles of public health nurses in that plan. The part played by Hong Kong public health nurses in the management of the avian influenza outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997 and the sudden acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003, together with the capacity-building work they are now undertaking in preparing for an influenza pandemic, highlight their crucial role in public health. Recent strengthening of public health infrastructure in Hong Kong and heightened public awareness of public health issues have facilitated more proactive and effective public health nursing activities.