|Abstract||The document outlines the conclusions from a technical consultation on preparedness for an influenza epidemic convened by WHO (16th - 18th March 2004) The consultation was attended by more than 100 experts from 33 countries who considered a wide range of measures that could be introduced by WHO and national authorities both before and during a pandemic. The three main objectives identified were: -|
· To forestall potential pandemics as they emerge;
· To slow national and international spread;
· To reduce the usually high levels of morbidity, mortality and social disruption
Four working groups looked at what reporting and monitoring systems are needed to detect the start of a pandemic and track its evolution, which interventions will be both feasible and effective at the different phases and in different settings and what policy options might best cope with the inevitable shortage of vaccines and antivirals.
The four groups considered: -
· Surveillance for pandemic preparedness
· Public health interventions
· Antivirals – their use and availability
· Better vaccines – better access
The document outlines some general conclusions and conclusions from the working groups. And the picture emerged of a world inadequately prepared to respond to influenza pandemic.