Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WHO doesn't like the flu?!

At the opening in of the Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic
Influenza Preparedness in Geneva yesterday, World Health Organization
(WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan explained that,
"vulnerability is universal," with the flu pandemic, and it will reach
every corner of the globe.

Dr. Chan stated that "countries need to brace themselves for a
situation where up to 25 per cent of the workforce may be ill at a
given time. They have to brace themselves for a possible meltdown of
basic municipal services and a slowdown of economic activity. And
this situation will be occurring globally."

Dr. Chan also expressed the need for better access to vaccines, citing
them as the best protection against a serious pandemic. The meeting
will also address the sharing of viruses for medical research, which
Dr. Chan pointed out serves public health in ways that go beyond the
development of pandemic vaccines, including by providing "the first
clues, the first early warning that the virus may be evolving in a
dangerous way."