Pandemic Influenza

Introduction

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009

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© © Reuters/China Daily
A teacher demonstrates to children how to wash their hands, as a precautionary measure against influenza infection, at a kindergarten in Huaibei, Anhui province, China.

On 10 August 2010, WHO declared that the world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert and that we are now in the post-pandemic period. In other words the H1N1 virus is now behaving as a seasonal influenza virus. Seasonal influenza viruses are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in risk groups which include young children and pregnant women. [See also WHO's frequently asked questions for more on the risk groups.]

The post-pandemic period provides an opportunity to review responses and preparedness for the next pandemic. The threat from Influenza A(H5N1) virus remains as this virus continues to circulate in birds and is causing occasional human cases (see avian influenza page). In addition to recurring influenza pandemics that occur at unpredictable intervals, humanity is now at increased risk of other newly emerging infectious diseases because of global changes in both animal and human population densities and ecological changes. Therefore, UNICEF will continue to work with partners to support national preparedness to respond to disease outbreaks and other emergencies.

Communication to mobilise communities and to inform individuals of how to protect themselves from infections is a key aspect of any disease outbreak response. See the Influenza Communications Resources portal for guidance, tools, and creative materials for communication strategies for both human and avian influenza.


 

 

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