TITLE

We should not be complacent about our population-based public health response to the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly, Heath A.; Priest, Patricia C.; Mercer, Geoffry N.; Dowse, Gary K.
PUB. DATE
January 2011
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p78
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: More than a year after an influenza pandemic was declared in June 2009, the World Health Organization declared the pandemic to be over. Evaluations of the pandemic response are beginning to appear in the public domain. Discussion: We argue that, despite the enormous effort made to control the pandemic, it is now time to acknowledge that many of the population-based public health interventions may not have been well considered. Prior to the pandemic, there was limited scientific evidence to support border control measures. In particular no border screening measures would have detected prodromal or asymptomatic infections, and asymptomatic infections with pandemic influenza were common. School closures, when they were partial or of short duration, would not have interrupted spread of the virus in school-aged children, the group with the highest rate of infection worldwide. In most countries where they were available, neuraminidase inhibitors were not distributed quickly enough to have had an effect at the population level, although they will have benefited individuals, and prophylaxis within closed communities will have been effective. A pandemic specific vaccine will have protected the people who received it, although in most countries only a small minority was vaccinated, and often a small minority of those most at risk. The pandemic vaccine was generally not available early enough to have influenced the shape of the first pandemic wave and it is likely that any future pandemic vaccine manufactured using current technology will also be available too late, at least in one hemisphere. Summary: Border screening, school closure, widespread anti-viral prophylaxis and a pandemic-specific vaccine were unlikely to have been effective during a pandemic which was less severe than anticipated in the pandemic plans of many countries. These were cornerstones of the population-based public health response. Similar responses would be even less likely to be effective in a more severe pandemic. We agree with the recommendation from the World Health Organisation that pandemic preparedness plans need review.
ACCESSION #
59753669

 

Related Articles

  • WHO's call for international pandemic action unheeded. Lett, Dan // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;5/24/2005, Vol. 172 Issue 11, p1429 

    Explains that the appeal of the World Health Organization (WHO) for developed countries to help developing countries finance preparations for an impending influenza pandemic remains unheeded. Preparations made by Canada in reaction to the WHO warning of an impending influenza pandemic; Annual...

  • Epidemic alert and verification: summary report 2005.  // Weekly Epidemiological Record;9/22/2006, Vol. 81 Issue 38, p357 

    The article presents a summary of the World Health Organization's report on epidemic alert and verification process of events by disease or syndrome from January 1 to December 31, 2005. Base on the results, the highest proportion of epidemic like cholera, diarrheal disease, and influenza...

  • GLOBAL INFLUENZA MEETING SETS KEY ACTION STEPS, AGREES ON URGENT NEED FOR FINANCING.  // Indian Journal of Medical Sciences;Nov2005, Vol. 59 Issue 11, p512 

    The article informs that a global meeting has identified key components of a global action plan to control avian influenza in animals and simultaneously limit the threat of a human influenza pandemic. More than 600 delegates from over 100 countries agreed that there is an urgent need for...

  • How would schools step up public health measures to control spread of SARS? Lee, A.; Cheng, F. F. K.; Yuen, H.; Ho, M. // Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health;Dec2003, Vol. 57 Issue 12, p945 

    The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a rapidly progressive, and sometime fatal disease with more than 1800 patients in over a dozen countries in Asia, Europe, and North America (including the United States and Canada) within two months. On 12 March 2003, the World Health Organization...

  • Breaking the Waves: Modelling the Potential Impact of Public Health Measures to Defer the Epidemic Peak of Novel Influenza A/H1N1. an der Heiden, Matthias; Buchholz, Udo; Krause, Gérard; Kirchner, Göran; Claus, Hermann; Haas, Walter H. // PLoS ONE;2009, Vol. 4 Issue 12, p1 

    Background: On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization declared phase 6 of the novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic. Although by the end of September 2009, the novel virus had been reported from all continents, the impact in most countries of the northern hemisphere has been limited. The return...

  • SARS: Lessons learned thus far. Henley, Eric // Journal of Family Practice;Jul2003, Vol. 52 Issue 7, p528 

    This article discusses the outbreak of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, known as SARS. Working with academic epidemiologists and researchers, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control Prevention appear to have identified a new virus as the likely causative...

  • Pandemic flu -- communicating the risks. Chan, Margaret // Bulletin of the World Health Organization;Jan2006, Vol. 84 Issue 1, p9 

    The article presents questions and answers related to pandemic flu. One of the question mention in the article is how health ministries in many countries are concerned that they may be communicating uncertainty to the public when it comes to public information on avian influenza and human...

  • We should not be complacent about our population-based public health response to the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century. Kelly, Heath A.; Priest, Patricia C.; Mercer, Geoffry N.; Dowse, Gary K. // BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p78 

    Background: More than a year after an influenza pandemic was declared in June 2009, the World Health Organization declared the pandemic to be over. Evaluations of the pandemic response are beginning to appear in the public domain. Discussion: We argue that, despite the enormous effort made to...

  • Europeans left at risk from influenza.  // Pharmaceutical Technology Europe;Dec2006, Vol. 18 Issue 12, p14 

    The article focuses on the development of a model to enable the public health officials in Europe to visualize the need for better influenza control and implement the World Health Organization for vaccination coverage. The model shows the consequences of low vaccine coverage. It also...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics